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J Formos Med Assoc. 2009 Feb;108(2):135-45. doi: 10.1016/S0929-6646(09)60044-9.

Development of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy: a strategy to increase living kidney donation incentive and maintain equivalent donor/recipient outcome.

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  • 1Division of Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Medical College and Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.



Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) has emerged as the preferred technique worldwide, and has contributed to a dramatic increase in living kidney donation during the past decade. We adopted LDN in 2002 with the intention of increasing living kidney donation incentive and maintaining equivalent donor/recipient outcome.


Forty-five LDNs were performed between September 2002 and November 2007. Donor demographics, operative characteristics, perioperative complications and donor/recipient outcome were reviewed retrospectively. The LDN series was divided into earlier and later groups for comparison. To confirm the safety and efficacy of LDN, we compared the results with those of previous series and our open donor nephrectomy (ODN) series.


All 45 LDN kidneys were procured and transplanted successfully. Mean donor operation time was 327.7+/-10.2 minutes, blood loss was 286.0+/-48.3 mL, and warm ischemia time was 233.9+/-19.6 seconds. Two (4.4%) open conversions happened in the earlier group. There was a significant decrease in warm ischemia time and donor intraoperative complications in the later group. There was no donor mortality and there were no repeat surgical procedures. Delayed graft function occurred in 8.9% of cases and three (6.7%) recipients developed ureteral complications. All but one recipient was discharged with adequate renal function. Graft function continued in 41 of the 43 harvested kidneys (95.3%). Compared with ODN, there was a significant decrease in donor postoperative stay in the LDN series (p=0.00). There was no difference between the series with regard to donor safety, donor outcome, and immediate and long-term recipient outcome.


The number of living kidney donations increased significantly after adopting LDN in our series. The equivalent donor/recipient outcome of the LDN series compared with that of previous and ODN series was achieved with increasing experience.

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