Two hours before surgery, the donor will be admitted to the hospital. The surgery will take about four hours. In addition, the time necessary for anesthesia before and after the surgery may be 30 to 60 minutes.
Usually, the donor who had a kidney removed by the laparoscopic procedure will be able to leave the hospital in 24-48 hours. Donors having the “open” procedure will remain in the hospital several days longer.
As with any surgery, problems can arise. The risk of death as a result of complications of donor nephrectomy is 3 deaths out of 10,000 (0.03%) surgeries performed. Bleeding, injury to internal organs, nerve damage, collapsed lung, blood clots in the legs or in the lung, or heart attack have been reported in less than 1% of patients. Both “open” and laparoscopic surgeries have the same risk.
Two weeks after discharge from the hospital, donors have a clinic follow-up appointment with members of the living donor surgical team.