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Arch Surg. 2000 Aug;135(8):943-7.

Is laparoscopic donor nephrectomy the new criterion standard?

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Transplantation Services, Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving St NW, Suite 3B-1, Washington, DC 10010, USA.



The posttransplantation renal function outcomes between consecutive open donor and laparoscopic donor nephrectomies (LDNs) are similar and affect living donation.


Using the medical records of renal living donor-recipient pairs, 36 consecutive open donor nephrectomies were compared with the subsequent 100 LDNs. Data collected on donor characteristics included demographics (age, race, sex, weight, and height), renal vascular and ureteral anatomical features, surgical information (blood loss, number of blood transfusions, operating time, warm ischemia time, and renal injury), complications, and length of hospital stay. Recipients' data also included renal function information (serum creatinine level on postoperative days 7 and 30) and ureteral complications during the initial hospital stay.


A not-for-profit tertiary care teaching hospital in a metropolitan area.


Adults who had end-stage renal disease and received a living donation kidney.


Operative time, warm ischemia time, blood loss, and posttransplantation serum creatinine level.


Patient characteristics were not significantly different between the open donor nephrectomy and LDN groups. No right kidney LDNs were done because of the shortness of the right renal vein; and, after the initial experience, left kidneys with more than 2 arteries were excluded. Warm ischemia time was recorded only for LDN, and it was found that a warm ischemia time of 10 minutes or longer was associated with difficulty in extraction and was uniformly associated with elevated mean serum creatinine levels on postoperative day 7.


The length of hospital stay was decreased and cosmetic result enhanced. The number of living donors has increased from 28 in 1997 to 53 in 1998 and to 63 in 1999 at our institution. The length of hospital stay, incidence of complications, and comparable kidney quality indicate that LDN should be the initiating procedure for most patients.

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