BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) has become the gold standard for live-donor nephrectomy, as it results in a short convalescence time and increased quality of life. However, intraoperative safety has been debated, as severe complications occur incidentally. Hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic donor nephrectomy (HARP) is an alternative approach, combining the safety of hand-guided surgery with the benefits of endoscopic techniques and retroperitoneal access. We assessed the best approach to optimize donors' quality of life and safety. METHODS: In two tertiary referral centers, donors undergoing left-sided nephrectomy were randomly assigned to HARP or LDN. Primary endpoint was physical function, one of the dimensions of the Short Form-36 questionnaire on quality of life, at 1 month postoperatively. Secondary endpoints included intraoperative events and operation times. Follow-up was 1 year. RESULTS: In total, 190 donors were randomized. Physical function at 1 month follow-up did not significantly differ between groups (estimated difference, 1.79; 95% confidence interval, -4.1 to 7.68; P=0.55). HARP resulted in significantly shorter skin-to-skin time (mean, 159 vs. 188 min; P<0.001), shorter warm ischemia time (2 vs. 5 min; P<0.001) and a lower intraoperative event rate (5% vs. 11%, P=0.117). Length of stay (both 3 days; P=0.135) and postoperative complication rate (8% vs. 8%; P=1.00) were not significantly different. Potential graft-related complications did not significantly differ (6% vs. 13%; P=0.137). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with LDN, left-sided HARP leads to similar quality of life, shorter operating time, and warm ischemia time. Therefore, we recommend HARP as a valuable alternative to the laparoscopic approach for left-sided donor nephrectomy.

Hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic donor nephrectomy, Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, Living donors, Quality of life, Randomized trial, Surgical technique,
Department of Surgery

Dols, L.F.C, Kok, N.F.M, D'Ancona, F.C, Klop, K.W.J, Tran, T.C.K, Langenhuijsen, J.F, … IJzermans, J.N.M. (2014). Randomized controlled trial comparing hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic versus standard laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Transplantation, 97(2), 161–167. doi:10.1097/TP.0b013e3182a902bd