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Kidney Transplant Program

Types of Living Donor Surgery

There are two options or methods for donor kidney removal surgery or a nephrectomy:

  • Laparoscopic.
  • Open.

Laparoscopic nephrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laparoscope to remove a kidney for donation. Laparoscopic kidney removal is considered minimally invasive because it only requires three or four small non-muscle-cutting incisions rather than one large muscle-cutting incision in the abdomen.

What are the advantages of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy?

Because laparoscopic donor nephrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, in most cases, donor patients experience significantly less discomfort; have a shorter recovery period, and return to work more quickly than donors who had traditional open surgery. Because the incisions are small, laparoscopic donor nephrectomy causes reduced post-operative pain and shorter hospital stays, and patients experience a quicker return to normal eating habits and daily activities.

Who is a candidate for laparoscopic donor nephrectomy?

Most people who are eligible for open nephrectomy are also eligible for laparoscopic nephrectomy. However, you might not qualify for the procedure if:

  • You have had multiple previous abdominal surgeries.
  • You are significantly overweight.
  • There is abnormal anatomy of the kidney.

Our surgeon team will complete a pre-operative evaluation to ensure that laparoscopic nephrectomy is appropriate for you. However, in a small percentage of cases, even approved laparoscopic procedures might be converted to open procedures.

If you are interested in being evaluated as a potential living donor, please contact our living donor program by calling 302-623-3866 to get the process started.