Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program

Donating a kidney is a major decision. There are many things donors and recipients should consider before making their decision. This web site will answer some of those questions.

In addition, we have many health care professionals who can also help guide you through the process. It is important that you fully understand how donating a kidney will affect you and your family. 

For recipients, talking to someone about donating a kidney can be intimidating and very humbling. The United Network for Organ Sharing provides some guidance to help foster that conversation and educate the potential donor. Click here to read these helpful tips. 

The Transplant Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center is leading the way in terms of providing a less invasive surgery for kidney donors. Surgeons at the UM Medical Center have peformed 1,500 laparoscopic donor nephrectomies since 1996. Watch this video to see how the procedure is performed in the operating room. 

About Living Kidney Donation

Kidneys from a living donor have significantly better long-term survival than kidneys from a deceased donor. Also, deceased kidney donation cannot meet the needs of all patients in this country who need a kidney transplant. The waiting time for a deceased kidney donation may be two to five years.

Kidney donations from living donors have always been a better option. More recently, kidneys donated from unrelated living donors (such as a spouse or a friend) have been as successful as those from close relatives.

In 2009, University of Maryland surgeons initiated a new technique of single-incision laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Patients leave the operating room with just a band-aid over a 1 inch incision through the belly button. This technique has been referred to as single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), embryonic natural orifice transumbilical surgery (e-NOTES), or laparoendoscopic single site (LESS) surgery. Read the research published on this surgery by a UMMC transplant surgeon in the journal Annals of Surgery, and watch patient testimonials on satisfaction and outcomes.

Many experts believe these techniques represent the future of surgery. The expertise of our surgical team with these innovative techniques is reflected by multiple national presentations and courses.

The single incision laparoscopic technique has made kidney donation even less invasive than standard laparoscopic techniques. Using a single small incision through the belly button, a camera and multiple instruments are inserted into the abdomen to perform the surgical procedure. The incision is stretched to safely remove the kidney at the completion of surgery. Once closed the incision appears approximately 1.5 inches.

Standard laparoscopic techniques require 4 port sites (5-12 mm) and a 4-5 inch incision to remove the kidney and open surgical techniques required an incision about ten inches long that cut through abdominal muscles and sometimes bone. The single port technique can mean less pain, no sutures or staples, a shorter hospital stay and a much faster recovery for the donor.

Our transplant team will be happy to arrange for you to meet with people who have donated a kidney. You can reach the transplant coordinators at 410-328-5408.

This page was last updated: September 23, 2014

         
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