The worldwide expansion of laparoscopic, at the expense of open, donor nephrectomy (DN) has been driven on the basis of faster convalescence for the donor. However, concerns have been expressed over the safety of the laparoscopic procedure. The UK Transplant National Registry collecting mandatory information on all living kidney donations in the country was analyzed for donations between November 2000 (start of living donor follow-up data reporting) to June 2006 to assess the safety of living DN, after the recent introduction of the laparoscopic procedure in the United Kingdom. Twenty-four transplant units reported data on 2509 donors (601 laparoscopic, 1800 open and 108 [4.3%] unspecified); 46.5% male; mean donor age: 46 years. There was one death 3 months postdischarge and a further five deaths beyond 1 year postdischarge. The mean length of stay was 1.5 days less for the laparoscopic procedure (p < 0.001). The risk of major morbidity for all donors was 4.9% (laparoscopic = 4.5%, open = 5.1%, p = 0.549). The overall rate of any morbidity was 14.3% (laparoscopic = 10.3%, open = 15.7%, p = 0.001). Living donation has remained a safe procedure in the UK during the learning curve of introduction of the laparoscopic procedure. The latter offers measurable advantages to the donor in terms of reduced length of stay and morbidity.
- Kidney donor
- Living donor nephrectomy