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Get answers to your Kidney Transplant questions.
Kidneys from a living donor have significantly better long-term survival than kidneys from a deceased donor. Also, deceased kidney donation cannot meet the needs of all patients in this country who need a kidney transplant. The waiting time for a deceased kidney donation may be two to five years.
Kidney donations from living donors have always been a better option. More recently, kidneys donated from unrelated living donors (such as a spouse or a friend) have been as successful as those from close relatives.
The Transplant Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center has been leading the way in terms of providing the least invasive surgery for kidney donors. Surgeons at the UM Medical Center have performed 1,443 laparoscopic donor nephrectomies since 1996.
In 2009, University of Maryland surgeons initiated a new technique of single-incision laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Patients leave the operating room with just a band-aid over a 1 inch incision through the belly button. This technique has been referred to as single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), embryonic natural orifice transumbilical surgery (e-NOTES), or laparoendoscopic single site (LESS) surgery.
Many experts believe these techniques represent the future of surgery. Our surgeons have safely performed over 200 of these operations, and have re-defined the state of the art with respect to advances in kidney donation. The expertise of our surgical team with these innovative techniques is reflected by multiple national presentations and courses.
The single incision laparoscopic technique has made kidney donation even less invasive than standard laparoscopic techniques. Using a single small incision through the belly button, a camera and multiple instruments are inserted into the abdomen to perform the surgical procedure. The incision is stretched to safely remove the kidney at the completion of surgery. Once closed the incision appears approximately 1.5 inches.
Standard laparoscopic techniques require 4 port sites (5-12 mm) and a 4-5 inch incision to remove the kidney and open surgical techniques required an incision about ten inches long that cut through abdominal muscles and sometimes bone. The single port technique can mean less pain, no sutures or staples, a shorter hospital stay and a much faster recovery for the donor.
Our transplant team will be happy to arrange for you to meet with people who have donated a kidney. You can reach the transplant coordinators at 410-328-5408.