The surgery to take out the kidney is called a "nephrectomy", and sometimes called recovery or harvesting. It is about 3 hours long, and this may vary depending on the donor's anatomy or health state.
There are two nephrectomy techniques performed at Mediclinic City hospital, they are:
- In a laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon creates three small incisions in the abdomen for the insertion of a camera and tools, and creates a larger incision (about 5 cm) a few centimeters below the belly button through which the kidney will be removed.
- This technique is the preferred one for nephrectomy as it leads to smaller surgical wounds that may speed up the healing process, shorten the hospital stay, and improve post-operative pain levels.
- The open technique is the traditional long incision to open the side where the chosen kidney will be taken from. The incision will span from the side of the abdomen to side of the back on the level of the kidney. This technique leaves a bigger scar and may take longer to heal.
The surgeons will choose the type of technique based on the clinical evaluation of the donor. Some donors may not be good candidates for one technique versus the other, and this will be decided before the surgery. However, there is a chance that during the surgery that the surgeon will feel that a different technique is required for safety, and to achieve the best results for donor and the recipient.
There is a chance that after the surgery begins that the surgeon will discover an issue that leads to the cessation of the procedure. This means that the donation surgery will stop and after the donor recovers, the case will be re-assessed.