WSVN -- Carol Pedone thought she had a back problem when she felt pain down her leg.
Carol Pedone: "I thought it was maybe the beginning of sciatica on my right side."
But an MRI showed something more serious, a mass on her kidney.
Carol Pedone: "I didn't know what to do."
Carol needed surgery right away to remove the tumor, so she turned to Dr. Jonathan Masel at Memorial Hospital Pembroke.
Dr. Jonathan Masel: "Patients that have cancer in the urinary system typically require large operations in order to remove the cancers, remove the infected organ."
But by using these special, flexible instruments, doctors are now able to access the affected organ through one very small incision.
Dr. Jonathan Masel: "The idea is to make a single, small incision in the patient and be able to put all your equipment, all your instruments through that one tiny incision."
Dr. Masel made a two-inch incision through Carol's bellybutton. Then passed the specially made instruments through the opening to get to the kidney, removing the entire organ with the tumor back through the bellybutton.
Dr. Jonathan Masel: "The entire operation is done inside the patient's abdomen."
The single incision surgery allows most patients to go home the next day. Carol's cancerous kidney was successfully removed and she says her recovery has been surprisingly easy.
Carol Pedone: "He just went ahead and took care of the situation, and I'm telling you it's amazing, just amazing."
Now she is enjoying time with her family and keeping a positive outlook on her future.
Carol Pedone: "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so I just figure I always put that in the back of my mind and that's kinda like my motto."
Richard Lemus: "Carol is being closely monitored because she is now living with one kidney. The procedure can also be used for the bladder or prostate cancer."