Kidney Donation Surgery

Since 1999, virtually all donor nephrectomies performed at Emory Transplant Center have been done using the laparoscopic technique. The laparoscopic technique offers the donor a more rapid and less uncomfortable recovery while providing the recipient a kidney that functions the same as a kidney removed through the much larger incision used for the open technique.

Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure which allows the kidney to be removed through four small incisions. The operation takes approximately three to four hours and, as with all surgery, it involves risks. Any operation carries the risk of anesthesia complications, bleeding, blood clots or infection. Occasionally, a difficulty may arise which cannot be safely managed laparoscopically. In this situation, the surgeon will convert to a conventional open procedure.

Before Surgery

Donors are admitted to the hospital on the morning of surgery. You will be taken to the pre-op suite where family may accompany you. Here, you will be prepared for surgery.

After Surgery

After the donated kidney is removed, it is prepared for transplant into the recipient. Donors spend approximately two hours in a recovery area before returning to their hospital room.

Typically, donor hospital stay is two to three days after surgery. Donors are instructed they need to stay within the greater Atlanta area until their post-op appointment is completed. This is scheduled 7-14 days after surgery.

Recovery and return to work takes approximately four-six weeks. Donors are instructed not to lift anything over 10 pounds for approximately 4-6 weeks following surgery.

For questions about our Living Donor Kidney Program, call 855-EMORYTX (366-7989).

How Can We Help You Today?

Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.