Background: Rates of living kidney donation have increased dramatically in recent years, in large part because of improved surgical techniques such as laparoscopic nephrectomy.
Objective: To compare patient-reported outcomes of laparoscopic nephrectomy versus open donor nephrectomy in 84 adult live kidney donors.
Outcome measures: Outcomes included perceptions of pain and surgical scarring, number of surgical/medical complications, hospital length of stay, physical health problems related to donation, return to work, financial impact, health-related quality of life, and satisfaction with the donation experience.
Results and conclusion: The 2 groups did not differ significantly in pain perceptions, number of surgical/medical complications, physical health problems, financial impact, health-related quality of life, or overall satisfaction. However, laparoscopic nephrectomy donors had significantly fewer hospital days and faster return to work time than open donor nephrectomy donors. The majority of donors report excellent health-related quality of life and no complications in the months following surgery. In addition, it appears that laparoscopic nephrectomy, in comparison to open donor nephrectomy, may reduce barriers to living kidney donation by reducing hospital length of stay and time away from work. Being able to return to work much sooner after surgery may significantly reduce the indirect costs (ie, lost wages) associated with living donation.