Background: Surgical procedures and complications have rarely been described in patients receiving a third or subsequent renal transplant.
Methods: Data from 61 consecutive third (n=56), fourth (n=4), and fifth (n=1) renal transplants performed during 1974 to 2005 were analyzed retrospectively.
Results: Actuarial graft survival was 91%, 74%, and 57% at one, five, and 10 years, respectively. Technical failure accounted for the loss of three grafts (5%). A transperitoneal approach was necessary in 41% of patients. Technical difficulties occurred in half of the procedures, mainly due to atheroma or vascular calcifications. Overall, there were 45 surgical complications in 30 patients, of urological (n=11), vascular (n=6), infectious (n=9), hemorrhagic (n=12), digestive (n=3), or wound origin (n=4). The rate of surgical revision was 16%. Univariate analysis showed that among surgical complications, only vascular complications were associated with a poor graft outcome (P=0.02). Urological complications did not influence long-term graft outcome. Multivariate analysis of all surgical procedures and complications that might have influenced graft survival showed that only vascular complications were associated with a poorer graft outcome (relative risk=6.13, P=0.015).
Conclusions: Despite a high rate of surgical complications and revisions, third and subsequent kidney transplantations may be performed safely by experienced surgeons without surgical complications influencing long-term graft outcome.