Rounding Out Care Research

"Scarless" Kidney donation boosts patient satisfaction

University of Maryland researchers found that living donors who donated a kidney that was removed through a single port in the navel report higher satisfaction in several key categories, compared to donors who underwent traditional multiple-port laparoscopic removal. The results were recently published in the Annals of Surgery.

The single port technique has been described as virtually scarless, because nearly the entire incision, once healed, is hidden within the navel. Researchers at the University of Maryland, including lead author Rolf Barth, M.D., found the single port donation group had significantly improved satisfaction with the cosmetic outcome and the overall donation process. Additionally, this technique was associated with fewer limitations in bending, kneeling or stooping following surgery, and slightly less pain after surgery, compared to the multiple incision laparoscopic approach. The study also confirmed the safety of both procedures as equally safe methods of kidney donation for patients. 

Single-port donor nephrectomy, also known as laparoendoscopic single-site (LESS) surgery, has been the standard of care for living kidney donors at the University of Maryland Medical Center for the past three years; however, no objective data previously existed to compare the single-port with the multiple-port laparoscopic techniques. UMMC is one of the first hospitals in the country to consistently use this surgical approach on living donors and has employed the single-port technique in 230 donors.

The UMMC transplant team is conducting workshops to train other transplant surgeons in the LESS technique, and has authored an updated chapter highlighting this technique in the latest surgical textbook “Kidney Transplantation.” To reach Rolf Barth, please email him at [email protected]

Pediatric epilepsy care

The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital recently opened the state’s only pediatric-dedicated epilepsy monitoring unit. Since there is a greater demand for pediatric epilepsy programs than there is availability, the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital began a program in pediatric epilepsy, staffed with two pediatric epileptologists: Kathleen Currey, M.D., and Alpa Vashist, M.D., both assistant professors of pediatrics in the University of Maryland School of Medicine. This program has the capacity to put patients, including neonates, under simultaneous video and EEG monitoring. 

For appointments with the pediatric epilepsy program, please call 410-706-6091.

Is there a Top Doc in the house?

An all-time high 98 University of Maryland faculty physicians were recognized as “Top Doctors” in the annual Baltimore Magazine issue released in November 2012. The results are based on the magazine’s survey of nearly 10,000 physicians in the Baltimore area asking where they would send a member of their family in dozens of specialties. The University of Maryland Medical Center has more doctors on the list.
than any other hospital. Log onto to see the complete list.