Living Donor Nephrectomy: Flank Incision Versus Anterior Vertical Mini-Incision

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Currently, many centers perform laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (DN). We studied the outcome of donors and recipients following open DN using either flank incision (ODN) or mini-incision (MIDN).


Data of 196 living kidney donors were recorded prospectively. In 127 cases ODN and 69 cases MIDN were performed.


Demographic details of donors were comparable for both groups. The left kidney was procured in 58% for ODN and in 64% for MIDN. Multiple arteries were more frequently present when MIDN (11% vs. 28%) was performed. The mean operating time was 129 min for ODN and 133 min for MIDN. Early complications occurred in 7% following ODN and in 4% following MIDN. Late complications were observed in 21% after ODN and 1% after MIDN. The mean hospital stay was significantly longer following ODN compared with MIDN (7.5 vs. 6.4 days). The primary graft function rate was 97% in both groups. One-year graft survival was 97% after ODN and 100% after MIDN.


Results following MIDN are superior to those following ODN. Even in case of multiple renal vessels MIDN can be safely applied. In comparison with laparoscopic DN advantages of MIDN may be reduced costs, shorter operating time, and comparable cosmetic results.

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