Purpose: Laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy is now the preferred technique for living donor renal transplantation. To our knowledge we provide the first published multi-institutional consensus describing practice patterns, technical considerations and interesting controversies involved in laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy. Materials and Methods: We designed a survey with 33 multiple choice questions looking at demographics, patient selection, technical considerations, postoperative care and followup involved in laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy. Surveys were sent to the 58 fellowship training programs in the United States accredited by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Results: The 32 responding programs performed approximately 40% of laparoscopic living donor nephrectomies in the United States in 2005. We found that almost all centers used a donor committee to screen candidates, enforce a body mass index cutoff, and use right kidneys when necessary and left kidneys in women of childbearing age. Regarding laparoscopic access, pure laparoscopy was favored 2 to 1 over the hand assisted technique and most of those who use nonbladed trocars do not close the fascia. Most surgeons divide the adrenal vein in left cases, use a vascular stapler on the renal artery and vein, and keep the ureter with the gonadal vein in the specimen. At most centers heparin is given before controlling the vessels. Extraction in pure laparoscopic cases is usually performed using a preplaced entrapment bag through a modified Pfannenstiel incision. Conclusions: Our survey describes how most renal transplant centers with accredited fellowship programs in the United States approach laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy. Specifically trends are revealed regarding patient selection, laparoscopic access and surgical technique.
- tissue donors
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