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Urology. 2002 Sep;60(3):406-9; discussion 409-10.

One versus two proficient laparoscopic surgeons for laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy.

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Department of Urology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.



To compare the laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) results obtained by two different surgical teams, one consisting of a proficient laparoscopic surgeon assisted by an inexperienced laparoscopic surgeon and another consisting of two proficient laparoscopic surgeons. With more centers embarking on LDN programs, it is important to identify the factors that can improve overall outcomes during the initial learning curve.


A retrospective review was performed of the initial 70 sequential LDNs performed between October 1998 and March 2001 at our institutions. The procedures were stratified into two groups. Group 1 consisted of LDN cases performed by one proficient laparoscopic surgeon and an inexperienced laparoscopic surgeon (resident, fellow, or faculty) as the first assistant; group 2 consisted of cases performed by two proficient laparoscopic surgeons.


Twenty-six LDNs were performed by group 1 and 44 by group 2. The total operative time and estimated blood loss showed a statistically significant decrease in group 2 compared with group 1, 143 +/- 32 minutes versus 218 +/- 38 minutes (P <0.001) and 92 +/- 115 mL versus 158 +/- 148 mL (P = 0.044), respectively. Two major complications occurred in group 1 (7.7%) and two major complications occurred in group 2 (4.5%). The 3-month postoperative recipient creatinine levels were similar for both groups, 1.6 +/- 1.3 versus 1.4 +/- 0.4 (P = 0.408).


A surgical team composed of two proficient laparoscopic surgeons during the early learning curve of LDN may allow safe and efficient development of a laparoscopic live donor renal transplantation program.

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