Background: Right-sided retroperitoneoscopic living donor nephrectomy (LDN) has been shown to be safe for the donor but it is unknown whether the short renal vein is associated with complications or an impaired long-term outcome in the recipient.
Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, consecutive transplant recipients after retroperitoneoscopic LDN were enrolled. Complications occurring within 1 year were classified according to the Clavien-Dindo Classification for Surgical Complications and analysed using multivariable logistic regression. Predictors of 1-year creatinine clearance were analysed with multivariable linear regression. Cox proportional hazard models were used to analyse graft survival.
Results: Of the 251 recipients, 193 (77%) received a left kidney and 58 (23%) a right kidney. Surgical complications of Clavien-Dindo grade 3 or higher were comparable in recipients of right and left kidneys (33% vs 29%, odds ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.50, 1.94). The occurrence of a surgical complication had a significant impact on creatinine clearance at 1 year (decrease of 6 ml/min/m2, p = 0.016). Vascular complications in right kidneys were more common but were all corrected without impact on graft survival. One-year graft-survival was similar in recipients of right (98.3%) and left (96.9%) kidneys, as was creatinine clearance one year after transplantation (mean difference 3.3 ml/min/m2, 95% CI -1.5, 8.1; p = 0.175). After a median follow-up of 5 years, neither the side (hazard ratio 1.56, 95% CI 0.67, 3.63) nor surgical complications (hazard ratio 1.44, 95% CI 0.65, 3.19) were associated with graft failure.
Conclusion: Right retroperitoneoscopic LDN does not compromise the outcome of transplantation. Surgical complications, long-term graft function and graft survival were comparable in right and left kidneys.