The Surgical Procedure
Advances in laparoscopic surgery have made laparoscopic donor nephrectomy the surgical procedure of choice for removing the kidney from the donor. The laparoscopic procedure has significant benefits over the open surgical procedure for kidney donation.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. It uses a camera called a laparoscope to view inside the the abdominal cavity. Surgeons use the laparoscope, which transmits pictures of the internal organs onto a monitor which guides the surgical team during the procedure.
Carbon dioxide is passed through one of the incisions during the procedure to lift the abdominal wall away from the organs below, allowing more operating space for the surgeons. The other surgical instruments are then inserted through other small incisions.
The kidney is removed through an approximate 3 to 4 inch incision in the bikini area.
Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure. Patients experience significantly less discomfort, have a shorter recovery period and return to work quicker than a donor who has had traditional open surgery.
Many donors are discharged from the hospital as early as the day after surgery, or 1 to 2 days later.