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Few studies have compared the quality of life (QoL) and functional recuperation of laproscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) vs. open donor nephrectomy (ODN) donors. This study utilized the SF-36 health survey, single-item health-related quality of life (HRQOL) score, and a functional assessment questionnaire (‘Donor Survey’).Questionnaires were sent to 100 LDN and 50 ODN donors. These donors were patients whose procedures were performed at The University Hospital and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.A total of 46 (46%) LDN and 21 (42%) ODN donors returned the completed surveys. The demographics of the two groups were similar. LDN patients reported a more rapid return to 100% normal health (69 vs. 116 d; p = 0.24), part-time work (21.9 vs. 23.2 d; p = 0.09), and necessitated fewer physician office visits post-operative (2.8 vs. 4.4; p = 0.01). ODN patients reported shorter duration of oral pain medication use (13.4 vs. 7.2 d; p = 0.02). However, a greater number of ODN patients reported post-surgical chronic pain (3 vs. 6; p < 0.05) and hernia (0 vs. 2; p = 0.19). The overall QoL for both groups was comparable with the general USA population.The results of this study support the decisions of many kidney transplant centers to adopt LDN programs as standard of care.