The Kidney Donor Operation (Nephrectomy)
Nephrectomy involves dividing the blood vessels which supply the kidney (the renal artery and renal vein). The ureter which drains urine to the bladder is also divided. Some people may have multiple blood vessels or ureters.
The operative approach (retrieval of either your left or right kidney) is chosen based on your kidney anatomy. There are currently two operative approaches in use. The best approach for you will be determined by the surgeon.
1. Laparoscopic Hand Assisted Nephrectomy (kidney retrieval).
This approach is used when the left kidney is chosen for donation. On occasion, the right kidney may also be removed using this technique but will depend on the anatomy.
This operation consists of removing your kidney through a small incision measuring 7 – 8cm in the midline around your belly button and three 1cm incisions on the right side of the abdomen as shown.
2. Open donor nephrectomy (kidney retrieval).
This approach is used when the right kidney is chosen for donation by the surgeon.
This consists of a single incision measuring about 10 cm on your right flank, just under the ribcage.