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A randomized controlled trial was designed to compare various outcome variables of the retroperitoneal mini-open muscle splitting incision (MSI) technique and the transperitoneal hand-assisted laparoscopic technique (HAL) in performing living donor nephrectomies. Fifty living kidney donors were randomized to MSI or HAL. Primary endpoint was pain experience scored on a visual analogue scale (VAS). After MSI living donors indicated lower median (range) VAS scores at rest than HAL living donors on postoperative day 2.5 [10 (0-44) vs. 15 (0-70), P = 0.043] and day 3 [7 (0-28) vs. 10 (0-91), P = 0.023] and lower VAS scores while coughing on postoperative day 3 [20 (0-73) vs. 42 (6-86), P = 0.001], day 7 [8 (0-66) vs. 33 (3-76), P < 0.001] and day 14 [2 (0-17) vs. 12 (0-51), P = 0.009]. The MSI technique also resulted in reduced morphine requirement, better scores on three domains of the RAND-36, reduced costs and reduced CRP and IL-6 levels. The HAL technique was superior in operating time and postoperative decrease of hemoglobin level. The MSI technique is superior to the HAL technique in performing living donor nephrectomies with regard to postoperative pain experience. This study reopens the discussion of the way to go in performing the living donor nephrectomy.

Original publication




Journal article


Transpl Int

Publication Date





976 - 986


Adult, Aged, Area Under Curve, Female, Hemoglobins, Humans, Inflammation, Kidney Transplantation, Laparoscopy, Living Donors, Male, Middle Aged, Muscles, Nephrectomy, Pain, Quality of Life, Time Factors, Tissue and Organ Harvesting, Treatment Outcome