Laparoscopic Live Donor Nephrectomy
If you are interested in donating one of your kidneys to someone, the Department of Urology is one of the few programs in the nation to offer laparoscopic live-donor nephrectomy. This leading-edge procedure allows a kidney to be removed using minimally invasive surgery. This usually means that you will have a shorter hospital stay, a faster recovery and a quicker return to work and your daily activities.
Removing a kidney using traditional surgery requires a rather large incision and takes about six weeks to recover. Usually, you are not able to return to work or your regular activities for several weeks or months after surgery.
With state-of-the-art laparoscopic surgery, only three small incisions (less than a half-inch each) are needed for the laparoscopic instruments and miniature camera. The kidney is removed through another, slightly larger, incision. Since no muscle tissue is cut, the donor usually is able to leave the hospital in a day or two (this can vary based on things such as ones overall health condition prior to surgery). You recover faster and typically can return to work and regular activities (except very strenuous exercise) within a matter of weeks (individual cases vary—some patients take longer or shorter times to recover following surgery).
Despite generally faster recoveries and typically less pain for the donor, there is no greater risk to the donor or the kidney using this approach.