Retroperitoneoscopic living donor nephrectomy: initial experience with a unique hand-assisted approach
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The retroperitoneoscopic (RP) approach to live donor nephrectomy (LDN) may be advantageous for the donor because it avoids mobilization of peritoneal organs and provides direct access to the renal vessels. Notwithstanding, this approach is not popular, likely because of the steeper learning curve. We feel that hand-assistance (HA) can reduce the learning curve and in this study, we present our experience with a novel hand-assist approach to retroperitoneoscopic live donor nephrectomy (HARP-LDN). Over a one-yr period, 10 consecutive patients underwent left HARP-LDN with a mean body mass index of 29 and three with prior left abdomen surgery. The surgical technique utilizes a 7 cm, muscle-sparing incision for the hand-port with two endoscopic ports. Operative time was an average of 155 min., with no open conversions. Mean blood loss was 68 mL, and warm ischemia time was 2.5 min. Hospital stay averaged 2.7 d with postoperative complications limited to one urinary retention. Our modified HARP approach to left LDN is safe, effective and can be performed expeditiously. Our promising initial results require a larger patient cohort to confirm the advantages of the hand-assisted retroperitoneal technique.
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