A healthy person who donates a kidney can lead a normal life with the only remaining kidney. But the operation is major surgery for both the donor and the recipient. As with any operation, there are some risks you should consider, including risks from surgery and long-term risks. Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy has several benefits over open nephrectomy, including faster recovery time, shorter hospital stay, and less postoperative pain.
Currently, most transplant centers perform laparoscopic donor nephrectomy to their living donors. Most doctors use this minimally invasive approach. The surgeon makes 3 small incisions in the abdomen and uses cameras and small instruments to remove the kidney. You are likely to be in the hospital for 2 to 3 days.
Live kidney donation, or nephrectomy, is major surgery, but recent medical advances allow to minimize the impact on the donor. If you receive a kidney from a living donor, this will be a carefully planned operation. The standard surgical procedure to remove a kidney is called laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Laparoscopic surgery minimizes surgical incisions and reduces recovery time, and Mount Sinai was one of the first in the country to offer laparoscopic surgery for living donations.
The decision of which kidney to remove is based on factors such as the size of each kidney. The operation to remove a kidney is a major operation that requires general anesthesia. This means that you will be asleep during the operation, which usually takes two to three hours. The types of surgery that live kidney donors undergo to remove the kidney have evolved significantly over the past 50 years.
This program allows kidney transplants to be performed in patients who have developed antibodies against their kidney donors, a situation known as a positive cross-test. kidney donation usually does not affect the ability to become pregnant or to complete a safe pregnancy and delivery. The donor kidney may fail in the recipient and cause feelings of regret, anger or resentment in the donor. When a kidney from a living donor is transplanted, the donor's remaining kidney is enlarged to take over the work of two.
A psychologist or counselor will almost always consult undirected kidney donors to discuss the reasons why they want to donate and the possible psychological impact on them. Many patients have family members or non-family members who want to donate a kidney but are unable to do so because their blood or tissue type does not match. For example, if the donor's kidney moved to the fourth patient on the deceased donor waiting list, the recipient would move to fourth on the list for their blood group and receive kidney offers once they were at the top of the list. An ultrasound of the kidneys may be done to check that you have two kidneys and that they appear to be normal in size and shape.
Most donors also undergo a scan to look at the relative function of the two kidneys and if there are any scars on the kidneys. People with high blood pressure may not be suitable donors, because sometimes the kidneys are damaged by high blood pressure (hypertension), and removing one kidney may increase the risk of damaging the rest. Donating a kidney or any other organ can also cause mental health problems, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression. Most patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery for kidney donation require a hospital stay of only two to three days.
Currently, the vast majority of kidney donation surgeries are performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques and may include the use of robotic-assisted technology. Ideally, live donations will come from a close relative because they are more likely to share the same tissue type and blood group as the recipient, reducing the risk of the body rejecting the kidney. However, kidney donation surgery can expose a healthy person to the risk of unnecessary major surgery and recovery from it. .