Background. The rate of living donor renal transplantations has increased. However, in view of the possible complications, the question as to whether the condition of the recipient justifies operation of the donor still remains unanswered. The present retrospective study evaluates the perioperative and post-operative risks and complications for the donor at a single major transplantation centre. Methods. From 1994 to 2001, 160 live donor nephro-ureterectomies were performed. The median age of living donors was 51 years (range 21-77 years); 19 patients were older than 61 years. After confirming blood group compatibility and negative cross-match, donors underwent an extensive medical and psychological examination. Comorbidities and anatomical features of the donor were evaluated and the impact they may have on the outcome was determined. The nephro-ureterectomies were performed trans-peritoneally, with the right kidney being preferred. Pre-operative, intraoperative and post-operative complications were documented. Serum creatinine levels as well as new-onset proteinuria or hypertension were used as criteria for assessing long-term renal function. Results. Complications were observed in 41 donors: 35 were minor and six were major (splenectomy; revisions due to liver bleeding, incarcerated umbilical hernia or infected pancreatic pseudocyst; pneumothorax; and acute renal failure). No patient died. Multiple arteries (14 patients), significant renal artery stenosis (two patients) and additional risk factors (e.g. increased age and previous operations) did not affect the complication rate. In the post-operative follow-up period of 0.5-62 months (mean: 38 months), renal function remained stable in all donors. Conclusions. Living donor nephrectomy appears to be a safe intervention in specialized centres, where it entails a low morbidity for the donor. Even in high-risk donors, long-term complications were not observed.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects*
Urologic Surgical Procedures/adverse effects
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