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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


VAN DER MERWE, A  and  HEYNS, C F. Retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomy: Review of the first 50 cases at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2014, vol.52, n.2, pp.53-56. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: Changing from an open to a laparoscopic live renal donor programme poses challenges and may affect donor and graft outcomes. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate donor safety and graft outcomes for the first 50 retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomies performed at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. METHODS: The procedures were performed by a single surgeon from 8 April 2008 to 3 April 2012. Operative and anatomical data were prospectively collected. A flank approach with lateral and posterior placements was used. Vascular control was achieved with Hem-o-lok clips in the majority of cases. RESULTS: The mean age of the donors was 31.5 years (range 18 - 50), 28 (56.0%) were male, and the left kidney was harvested in 28 (56.0%) of cases. The mean operating time was 149.8 minutes (range 75 - 250), mean warm ischaemic time (WIT) 181.3 seconds (107 - 630), mean blood loss 139.7 ml (5 - 700) and mean hospital stay 3.2 days (2 - 5). Mean WIT was significantly longer for right-sided than left-sided nephrectomy (213 v. 162 seconds). In two right-sided cases the renal vein was too short and vena profunda femoris was used to create length. No donor received a blood transfusion. Comparing the last 25 with the first 25 cases showed a significant decrease in mean WIT (158 v. 204 seconds, respectively) and operating time (128 v. 172 minutes, respectively). No major complications occurred. CONCLUSION: Our initial 50 retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomies were performed without major complications. Donor safety was maintained during the early learning curve of the transition to minimal-access donor nephrectomy.

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