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Surg Endosc. 2009 Jul;23(7):1564-8. doi: 10.1007/s00464-009-0340-7. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Laparoscopic versus open live donor nephrectomy: outcomes analysis of 266 consecutive patients.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA.



Minimally invasive surgical techniques have become the preferred method for live donor nephrectomy (DN) in many centers. We compared our experience with laparoscopic and open DN in a single institution.


Data for 266 consecutive live DNs were collected. Demographic, intraoperative, and postoperative data were compared.


A total of 199 hand-assisted laparoscopic (HAL) DNs, 18 totally laparoscopic (TL), and 49 open DNs were performed. Laparoscopic DN was associated with a shorter operative time (p < 0.013), less blood loss (p < 0.0001), and shorter hospital stay (p < 0.0001) than open DN. Warm ischemia time was less for HAL versus TL DN (59.9 vs. 90.0 seconds; p < 0.0001). Compared with open DN, laparoscopic patients had fewer complications (p < 0.03), fewer wound infections (p < 0.004), less wound paresthesias (p < 0.0009), and fewer complaints of chronic incisional pain (p < 0.0001). Delayed graft function during the first 24 h postoperatively was significantly less for the laparoscopic DN versus the open cases (12.9% vs. 30.4%; p = 0.003), but the need for hemodialysis for the recipient was similar between groups (6.9% vs. 5%; p = not significant).


Laparoscopic DN resulted in less blood loss, reduced operative time, and shorter hospital stay than open DN. Hand-assisted laparoscopic DN has the potential to decrease warm ischemia time for renal allografts. Donors managed laparoscopically had fewer complications, significantly less wound-related morbidity, and less delayed graft function than patients who underwent open DN.

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