“Once this surgical procedure came to our attention, we wasted no time in adopting this as our standard technique in 2009,” said senior author Benjamin Philosophe, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Head, Section of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “It seemed like the logical next step in the surgical evolution of living donation.”
The researchers took a two-pronged approach. They analyzed the surgical results of 135 single-port and 100 multi-port donors from the UMMC patient database and measured transplant outcomes. They also sent two questionnaires to 100 single-port patients and a group of 100 multi-port donors – all of whom had their procedures performed by the same surgeons with similar laparoscopic equipment at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The analysis determined that LESS surgery is a safe option for kidney donation without increasing risks or complications to the donor. Single-port nephrectomy leaves only one small scar in the center of the navel, which typically fades over time. The multi-port approach leaves several scars. Beyond the cosmetic benefit, the data suggested single-port donors were more satisfied with their donation decision. “For a living kidney donor who leaves the operating room with no health benefit from the surgical procedure and only a small band-aid over the umbilicus, LESS may be more,” says Barth.
“The single-port donor nephrectomy operation is more technically challenging than the standard multiple-port donation technique used nearly everywhere else in the U.S.,” said Stephen T. Bartlett, MD, the Peter Angelos Distinguished Professor; chair, Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and surgeon-in-chief at the University of Maryland Medical System. “Our Division of Transplantation has a long-standing reputation for leading the way in transplant innovation, and our surgeons are handpicked for their ability to master complex surgical techniques and consistently try to make the patient’s experience as safe and effective as possible.”
“Our transplant surgeons work tirelessly to assess and improve every angle of the transplant process,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor; and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The standard of care elsewhere is not good enough for our patients, and this team of surgeons continues to impress me with their commitment to the advancement of medicine through surgical excellence.”