Less invasive kidney transplant technique spurring donations

New Brunswick, NJ In keeping with a national trend, surgeons at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital say a new, less invasive approach to removing a kidney from a living donor is prompting more people to give one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant.

Over the past four years, the number of people donating a kidney at the hospital has doubled, from 14 in 1999 to 28 in 2002.

This is consistent with increases seen at other kidney transplant centers since the introduction several years ago of a surgical procedure called laparoscopic kidney removal, which makes the process much easier on the donor.

"The laparoscopic procedure has many advantages for the person donating a kidney a smaller incision, a faster recovery time and less blood loss, to name a few. It is clearly responsible for the increase we have seen in the number of donors," said Dr. David A. Laskow, Chief of Kidney Transplantation at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

(Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has made arrangements for Dr. Laskow, a living kidney donation recipient and her donor to be available for interviews August 26. Please contact Kristen Walsh John Patella at (732) 937-8521 to arrange.)

Donating a kidney through the traditional "open" method typically required a 10-inch incision, a five-day hospital stay and six to seven weeks of lost work time for recovery.

By contrast, the laparoscopic technique allows the kidney to be removed through a small incision in the abdomen. Two incisions, each less than one inch, are made in the upper abdomen to insert a camera as well as other viewing instruments, followed by a 4-inch incision in the lower abdomen through which the kidney is removed.

This procedure allows donors to return to their normal activities in one-third the time of the traditional approach. There is also les

Contact: Kristen Walsh
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

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