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Living Donor Surgery

The transplant surgeons at PinnacleHealth use minimally invasive  laparoscopic techniques to perform donor surgery with minimal discomfort or pain.
Keeping your safety in mind, our transplant surgeons will decide which approach is appropriate for you based on your past surgical history, body size and kidney anatomy.
  • Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy

    This approach uses small scopes and instruments (through 3-4 very small incisions on the abdomen) to free the kidney.  The kidney is then removed thru a small incision a few inches below the donors belly button. This procedure results in very little pain or discomfort for the donor, a very short hospital stay (1-2 days), and a rapid return to normal activity. Most donors are ready to return to work and normal activity within 2 – 4 weeks of surgery.
  • Single Incision Laparoscopic Nephrectomy

    This surgical approach allows all the small scopes and instruments to be inserted through only one incision in the abdomen. The kidney is then removed through the same small incision which is a few inches from the donor’s belly button.

After Surgery

Immediately after surgery, you will be in the recovery room for approximately 2 – 3 hours. You will transferred to the transplant floor after you are awake and stable, your pain is under control and your vital signs are normal.  You will remain on the transplant floor until you are discharged to home approximately two days later.
 
When you are discharged it is important that you do the following:
  • Keep your pain/discomfort under control
  • Get up and move around
  • Go for a light, casual, non-stressful walk each day (do not increase your heart rate)
  • Eat a healthy diet. Include high fiber foods to prevent constipation
  • Drink plenty of water
 
When you are home, please report any of the following to the transplant coordinator:
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Increased urgency to urinate
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Temperature of 100 degrees or greater
  • Swelling, redness or tenderness along the incision site
 
After your surgery you will have a few activity restrictions to follow:
  • You will be off work 2-4 weeks. Depending on the type of work you do, you may need to be off of work for 4 to 6 weeks in order to completely recover
  • You must not lift anything over 20 lbs. for 6 weeks
  • You are not allowed to drive for 2 weeks following surgery
 
You will not have any dietary restrictions and will not need to be on any medications related to the donation.  After your incision(s) have healed, you should experience no difference in your energy level, ability on the job, life expectancy, susceptibility to illness or sexual functioning. 
          

Contact Us

For more information on the transplant services at PinnacleHealth, call our toll-free number at 1-877-778-6110.

Living Kidney Donation

Thinking about becoming a living kidney donor, or receiving a living donor kidney transplant?  Watch this video to learn more about the process for living kidney donation

 


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