A surgical technique which will reduce patient recovery times and scarring has been introduced at a county hospital.
Surgeons at Kettering General Hospital have started laparoscopic keyhole surgery on cancerous or malfunctioning kidneys.
The technique will also mean people can receive the surgery closer to home, with patients previously being referred to other hospitals.
Consultant urologist David Payne said: “We usually use the keyhole technique to remove the kidney without the need for the large incisions used in open surgery.
“The keyhole technique means that there is much less scarring and patients go home at least two to three days earlier than from open surgery.”
Mr Payne said the whole kidney could be removed by breaking it down into smaller pieces or, if it was needed intact for analysis, it could still be taken out through a much smaller incision.
Judy White, 77, of Great Doddington, was one of the first to benefit from the new technique.
She has had more than 20 operations at KGH over the past 23 years for problems with rheumatoid arthritis but was diagnosed with a cancerous kidney at the end of last year.
Mrs White said: “I had the operation on a Monday and was walking the next day and able to go home on the Thursday.
“It was much less painful than other surgeries I’ve had and there is very little scarring.
“They caught the cancer early and it is all gone now so I have been very lucky.”