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Transplant Proc. 2005 Jul-Aug;37(6):2445-8.

Laparosopic hand-assisted living donor nephrectomy: the Niguarda experience.

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Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation unit, Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy.


Perioperative donor morbidity, a barrier to living organ donation, may be mitigated by the laparoscopic approach. From September 2002 to September 2004, 15 living donors, of ages ranging from 36 to 59 years, underwent laparoscopic nephrectomy. We used a hand-assisted device to increase the safety of the procedure. The average operating time was 200 minutes. The average blood loss was about 100 mL. The patients resumed oral intake and started walking within 1 day. The average postoperative hospital stay was 6 days. Although laparoscopic operating times were longer than those for traditional surgery, we showed benefits to the laparoscopic donor to be less postoperative pain, better cosmesis, shorter recovery time, and faster return to normal activities. We therefore consider laparoscopic nephrectomy a good alternative to traditional surgery for selected patients. Despite a lack of strong evidence, such as large prospective randomized studies, laparoscopic donor nephrectomy is likely to become the gold standard for donor nephrectomy in the near future.

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