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.

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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