Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for Living Kidney Donors
Surgeons at Rush recently performed single-site laparoscopic surgery to remove a kidney from a living donor, becoming the first in Illinois to do so. They hope that this approach, which requires a single small incision at the navel, will encourage increased numbers of kidney donations and help shorten donors' hospital stays and recoveries.
"By having only a single incision, discomfort and pain are minimized," says Sameh A. Fayek, MD, a transplant surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at Rush. "This incision is actually hidden at the belly button; thus, donors are left with essentially no visible scars."
Standard laparoscopy for removal of kidneys from living donors generally requires three or four small incisions in addition to a 4-inch incision to retrieve the kidney; the new procedure is performed through a specially designed port inserted into the single incision.
"Every year the gap widens between the number of patients on the waiting list for a kidney and the number of transplants performed," Fayek says. "We hope that this new technique motivates more healthy people to consider living donation."