A shortage of kidney donors has contributed to the interest in laparoscopic live-donor nephrectomy. Three transperitoneal ports are used as is an AESOP robot. To maintain urine flow the donor is kept volume expanded during the procedure and the pneumoperitoneum pressure is minimized. The most critical and hazardous part of the surgery is dissection of the renal artery and vein. Abundant periureteral tissue should be left to protect the blood supply. Harvest of the right kidney is more difficult. Placing the extraction incision in the right upper quadrant and using a Satinsky clamp instead of a stapling device at the origin of the renal vein will provide maximum venous length and help prevent postoperative thrombosis of the allograft. In the first 175 laparoscopic renal harvest procedures at Johns Hopkins the complication rate was 14% the rate of open conversion was 2% and 3% of the patients required transfusions. These rates improved with experience. There was no significant difference in the performance of the allografts or the recovery of the recipients from what is seen after open kidney harvest. Wider acceptance of laparoscopic renal harvest will increase the number of donors and will be helped by development of methods and devices that shorten the learning curve.
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