Laparoscopically Harvesting Right Kidneys from Living Donors Safe

Donor and recipient outcomes are similar to those associated with laparoscopic removal of left donor kidneys.
Donor and recipient outcomes are similar to those associated with laparoscopic removal of left donor kidneys.

Right and left living donor kidneys harvested laparoscopically offer comparable post-transplant donor and recipient outcomes, researchers concluded in a presentation at the Canadian Urological Association annual meeting in Ottawa.

Clare E. Gardiner, MD, a urology resident, and colleagues at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg reviewed 72 donor-recipient pairs in which a living donor underwent a laparoscopic nephrectomy. Of the 72 nephrectomies, 56 were left sided and 16 were right sided. The investigators found no significant differences between the right and left nephrectomy groups in donor demographics, donor estimated blood loss, warm ischemic time, complications, hospital length of stay, and rejection and delayed graft function rates. Recipient mean serum creatinine levels were equivalent between the groups at 0, 1, and 6 weeks post-transplant.

Dr. Gardiner's team noted in their study abstract that surgeons are reluctant to harvest the right kidney laparoscopically because of concerns about shorter right renal vein length, greater complexity of the dissection, and potentially worse renal allograft outcomes and complication rates.

“Harvesting the right kidney laparoscopically is safe and does not have a negative impact on donor recovery or long term graft function in the recipient,” the authors concluded.

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