Trends and outcomes in right vs. left living donor nephrectomy: An analysis of the OPTN/UNOS database of donor and recipient outcomes - should we be doing more right-sided nephrectomies?

Ali Khalil, Muhammad A. Mujtaba, Tim Taber, Muhammad Yaqub, William Goggins, John Powelson, Chandru Sundaram, Asif Sharfuddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Background: Discussion continues about right vs. left donor nephrectomy (LDN). Left side is preferred due to longer renal vein while right side has been associated with renal vein thrombosis and shorter vessels. Methods: A retrospective analysis of UNOS database for adult living donor transplants between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009. Results: We identified 58 599 living donor transplants, of which 86.1% were LDN. There were no significant differences between the recipients or donors demographics. There were higher rates of delayed graft function in right donor nephrectomy (RDN) recipients with a hazard risk of 1.38 (95% CI 1.24-1.53; p <0.0001). Primary failure rates were similar. In the RDN group, graft thrombosis as cause of graft failure was statistically higher with a hazard ratio of 1.48 (95% CI 1.18-1.86, p = 0.0004), and graft survival was significantly inferior (p = 0.006 log-rank test). For living donors outcomes, the conversion from laparoscopic to open was higher in the RDN group with an odds ratio of 2.02 (95% CI 1.61-2.52; p <0.00001). There was no significant difference in vascular complications or re-operation required due to bleeding. Re-operations and re-admissions were higher in the LDN group. Conclusion: There are statistical differences between left and right kidney donor nephrectomies on recipient outcomes, but the difference is extremely small. The choice and laterality should be based on center and surgeon preference and experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Transplantation
StateAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Left
  • Living donor
  • Nephrectomy
  • Recipient
  • Right

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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