n South African Journal of Surgery - Retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomy : review of the first 50 cases at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa : transplantation

Volume 52, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Changing from an open to a laparoscopic live renal donor programme poses challenges and may affect donor and graft outcomes.

To evaluate donor safety and graft outcomes for the first 50 retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomies performed at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.
The procedures were performed by a single surgeon from 8 April 2008 to 3 April 2012. Operative and anatomical data were prospectively collected. A flank approach with lateral and posterior placements was used. Vascular control was achieved with Hem-o-lok clips in the majority of cases.
The mean age of the donors was 31.5 years (range 18 - 50), 28 (56.0%) were male, and the left kidney was harvested in 28 (56.0%) of cases. The mean operating time was 149.8 minutes (range 75 - 250), mean warm ischaemic time (WIT) 181.3 seconds (107 - 630), mean blood loss 139.7 ml (5 - 700) and mean hospital stay 3.2 days (2 - 5). Mean WIT was significantly longer for right-sided than left-sided nephrectomy (213 v. 162 seconds). In two right-sided cases the renal vein was too short and vena profunda femoris was used to create length. No donor received a blood transfusion. Comparing the last 25 with the first 25 cases showed a significant decrease in mean WIT (158 v. 204 seconds, respectively) and operating time (128 v. 172 minutes, respectively). No major complications occurred.
Our initial 50 retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomies were performed without major complications. Donor safety was maintained during the early learning curve of the transition to minimal-access donor nephrectomy.

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