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Some donors may qualify for an alternate procedure, the laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. This surgical approach takes approximately three to four hours.
In order to perform a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, 3 to 4 small incisions are made. The abdomen is inflated with a gas that allows movement and separation of the abdominal organs. Surgical instruments and a laparoscope are inserted through the small incisions, which allows the surgeon to maneuver around the organs and see and remove the kidney. The kidney is removed through a small incision above the pubic area.
The advantages of the laparoscopic technique are:
The complication rate has reportedly decreased over the past three years as transplant surgeons have gained more expertise with the laparoscopic procedure.
Donors who do not qualify for the laparoscopic procedure, will have the traditional, open surgery. The surgeon will be able to discuss surgical options in detail during the office visit. There are advantages and disadvantages to both procedures.
Recovering from surgery