Background: Recent United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data suggest that live kidney donation is stagnant. Current practices and trends in laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) among the transplant community remain largely unknown.
Materials and methods: From the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 1998 to 2006, patients undergoing LDN (n = 9,437) were identified.
Results: Live kidney donation in the United States did not show an increase in the NIS. Of the live donor cases recorded, 58 (0.61%) were associated with a major short-term complication. The number of LDNs performed by transplant surgeons decreased over the study period from 76.5% in 1998 to 30.4% in 2006.
Conclusions: In the United Stares, LDNs are performed safely with a low short-term complication rate. Despite the use of laparoscopy and the increased need of donor organs, the rate of LDN in kidney transplantation has not increased proportionally.