About the Procedure

Living Donor Kidney Transplant



Living Donor Kidney Transplant  
Living Donor Kidney Transplant
 

“This technique has made a tremendous impact on our ability to help people who need a kidney transplant,” says transplant surgeon Stephen T. Bartlett, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He adds, “Living donors can be parents, siblings, husbands, wives, friends, and co-workers. Each patient who receives a kidney from a living donor makes it possible for someone on the kidney waiting list to have a better chance of getting an organ from a deceased donor.”

During the donor’s operation, Dr. Adrian Park, chief of general surgery at UMMC and a professor of surgery at SOM, makes only a small incision below the navel -- about one-and a half to two inches -- as well as four small holes which he uses to insert instruments, including a laparoscope. The laparoscope contains a miniature camera, and surgeons watch what they are doing on a video monitor. In addition to less pain for the donor, no sutures or staples, and a faster recovery, the success rate of living donor kidneys, no matter what the donor-recipient relationship, is significantly greater than for cadaver kidneys.

Living Donor Kidney Transplant  
Living Donor Kidney Transplant
 

During the recipient’s surgery, an incision is made by Dr. Bartlett in the lower right side of the abdomen. Once the donor’s kidney is removed, it is properly cleansed, blood vessels are sewed shut and the fat that surrounds the organ is removed. The process of placing the kidney in the recipient begins after that. It is not necessary to remove the recipient’s dysfunctional kidneys. Instead the donor’s kidney is placed near the bladder. The ureter from the donor kidney is attached to the bladder so that the kidney can begin its function of producing urine. The kidney begins to work almost immediately.



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