Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy

Mayo Clinic surgeons have extensive experience and expertise performing minimally invasive surgery to remove a donor's kidney (laparoscopic donor nephrectomy) for a kidney transplant, as an alternative to open surgery.

In laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, surgeons conduct your procedure through one or several small incisions in your abdomen using surgical instruments and a long, thin tube with a camera at the end (laparoscope). A surgeon removes your kidney through the incisions using his or her hand.

After laparoscopic nephrectomy, you may have a quicker recovery, a shorter hospital stay and less pain than after open surgery. Many kidney donors return to their normal activities or job within a few weeks of donating a kidney.

Living Kidney Organ Donation

Mikel Prieto, M.D.: Many people don't realize that they can change somebody's life by doing this sacrifice. Donating a kidney does not having any long term consequences.

Carrie Schinstock, M.D.: Some patients lose their kidney from genetic diseases or even congenital problems.

Mikel Prieto, M.D.: When that condition progresses to the point where the kidney's going to fail, there's only two options. One option is start dialysis which would be a machine that essentially that does the function of the kidney. The other option is a kidney transplant. There's two ways to do this. One is if you get approved for transplant, we put you on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney. The other option, which is the best option, is getting a healthy kidney from a living donor.

Carrie Schinstock, M.D.: If you don't have a living donor, you may wait several years for a deceased donor. While we can work up a living donor and you might be able to get a transplant within months.

Mikel Prieto, M.D.: This is a very common procedure. It is done with laparoscopic techniques. In other words, with very small incisions. We feel that it's very safe for the donor and has very good long-term outcomes for the recipient.

Carrie Schinstock, M.D.: Donors are typically in the hospital for only one to two days, and within six to eight weeks they're usually ready to go back to work and lead their normal lives. If you're interested in being a kidney donor, to first step is to access our living donor questionnaire that you can access online.

Mikel Prieto, M.D.: I like coming to work every day because I know that I am surrounded by a team of fantastic professionals. As a team, we're going to be able to get our patients through the most difficult time of their lives.

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May 09, 2023