Background: Laparoscopic procedures are gaining acceptance in the treatment of benign and some malignant urologic disorders. Recently, laparoscopic techniques have been applied to transplant surgery and touted as a safe alternative to traditional open techniques.
Methods: We present a patient who developed a complication from laparoscopic donor nephrectomy that required open corrective surgery.
Results: A 25-year-old man underwent laparoscopic donor nephrectomy at a large medical center familiar with the operation. There were no operative or early postoperative complications. Within 6 weeks of the operation, the patient developed signs and symptoms of partial small bowel obstruction. Further evaluation revealed an internal hernia in the retroperitoneum at the site of the nephrectomy. This required a second operation to reduce the hernia and close the defect.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy remains an evolving technique that has not stood the test of time. Larger series will eventually reveal whether this is the procedure of choice as compared to traditional open donor nephrectomy.