Background: The number of robotic operations performed with the da Vinci Surgical System has increased during the past decade. This system allows for greater maneuverability and control than hand-assisted laparoscopic procedures, resulting in less tissue manipulation and irritation.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the results of 100 consecutive robotic-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomies and compared them to our most recent 20 hand-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomies.
Results: Between May 2008 and June 2012, 120 laparoscopic donor nephrectomies were performed at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. Of those, 100 live kidney donors underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomies. Surgical time and hospital length of stay improved after the first 20 patients receiving robotic-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomies, which was considered the learning curve. Sixty percent of patients who underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomies were released on postoperative day 1 compared to 45% of patients who underwent hand-assisted laparoscopic techniques.
Conclusion: In our experience, robotic-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomy resulted in decreased postoperative length of stay that decreased the global cost of the procedure and allowed our institution to admit more patients.
Keywords: Kidney transplantation; laparoscopy; living donors; nephrectomy; robotics; tissue and organ procurement.