A kidney from a female donor was removed through her vagina by surgeons at Johns Hopkins University, the Associated Press reported. It's believed to be a world-first in kidney transplantation.
This technique meant the 48-year-old donor didn't require an abdominal incision, which normally leaves a 5- to 6-inch scar. The kidney was given to the woman's niece and both patients are doing well, hospital officials said.
They said this type of transvaginal kidney removal has been done before to remove cancerous or other nonfunctioning kidneys, but has never been used for healthy kidney donation, the AP reported.
The Jan. 29 operation left the donor with three pea-sized scars on her abdomen. The surgeons said they're hopeful this kind of procedure will persuade more people to become organ donors.