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Improved techniques for surgical kidney removal enable many donors to go home within 48 hours after surgery, according to a recent report from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
A transplant team has used laparoscopic procedures to replace the earlier method of more extensive incisions. Igal Dam, MD, chief of transplant surgery at the University Hospital says, "Patients who undergo the standard procedure can often take four to six weeks to feel completely back to normal, but with the new laparoscopic technique, the recovery time is shortened to a matter of days."
The standard technique for surgically removing a kidney from a living donor requires an incision on the patient’s side, involving cuts through several layers of muscle tissue. With laparoscopy, smaller incisions in the lower abdomen cause less pain and require a shorter recovery period for the patient.
The procedure is selective for patients who meet criteria for favorable outcomes. The University of Colorado’s hospital is one of several transplant centers in the United States that currently use the laparoscopic technique.