Objectives: A standardized classification for the potential complications of living donor nephrectomy is an essential step in establishing a construct for monitoring and reporting the outcomes of this procedure. It is also helpful in informing potential donors about the inherent risks of the donor operation as part of the informed choice process. Methods: We reviewed 600 laparoscopic live donor nephrectomies performed at our center. A modification of the Clavien classification system describing procedure-related complications was developed and used to grade the severity of all complications. Results: We observed 43 complications (7.2%) in our series of 600 patients. Grade 1 defines all events that, if left untreated, would have a spontaneous resolution or needed a simple bedside procedure (39.5%). Grade 2 complications differ from grade 1 in that they are potentially life-threatening and usually require some form of intervention, but do not result in ongoing disability. We subdivided grade 2 complications (55.8% in our study) into 2a, 2b, and 2c. The latter describes complications requiring open conversion of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy for patient treatment. Grade 3 complications are events with residual or lasting disability (4.7% in our review). Grade 4 events are those resulting in renal failure or death because of any complication (none occurred in our series). Conclusions: A graded classification scheme for reporting the complications of donor nephrectomy may be useful for maintaining registry information on donor outcomes and when informing potential donors about the risks and benefits of this procedure.
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