By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Need kidney surgery but don’t want the scars?  Doctors may now be able to do it without leaving a mark.

Dr. Daniel Eun, director of robotic urologic oncology and reconstruction at Temple University Hospital, says doctors can and sometimes do operate — even remove kidneys — through the belly button, making the scar almost invisible.

It’s not always the best option, he notes, as the size of the incision makes the procedure more difficult, and it’s not recommended for all cases, including when there’s cancer.

“You have to worry about pulling a cancer through a very small incision, and that’s where the caution is,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “Also for cancer, in many cases you can spare the kidney and not remove the whole kidney, and so a single site would be much more difficult to do through a single incision.”

But if the organ is healthy and being donated, removing it through the belly button could work well and keep the abdomen scar-free.

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