Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Single-port kidney removal through the belly button boosts living-donor satisfaction

University of Maryland study findings advance navel nephrectomy as standard of care
In the largest study of its kind, living donors who had a kidney removed through a single port in the navel report higher satisfaction in several key categories, compared to donors who underwent traditional multiple-port laparoscopic removal.

The new technique has been described as virtually scarless, because nearly the entire incision, once healed, is hidden within the belly button. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore found the belly button group had significantly improved satisfaction with the cosmetic outcome and the overall donation process. Additionally, the new technique was associated with fewer limitations in bending, kneeling or stooping following surgery, and slightly less pain after surgery, compared to the multi-port approach. At the same time, the study found the two procedures equally safe. The results are published online today in the Annals of Surgery.

“Everything we do in organ transplantation is based on the generosity of organ donors,” says lead author Rolf Barth, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and transplant surgeon at University of Maryland Medical Center. “If we as surgeons can safely improve the donation process for our living donors by perfecting less-invasive surgical options, we should embrace these new approaches.”

Single-port donor nephrectomy (kidney removal), also known as laparoendoscopic single-site (LESS) surgery, has been the standard of care for living kidney donors at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) for the past three years; however, no objective data previously existed to compare the single-port with the multiple-port laparoscopic techniques. UMMC is only the third hospital in the country to consistently use this surgical approach on living donors and, to date, has employed the single-port technique in 215 donors.

“Once this surgical procedure came to our attention, we wasted no time in adopting this as our standard technique in 2009,” says senior author Benjamin Philosophe, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Head, Section of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “It seemed like the logical next step in the surgical evolution of living donation.”

The researchers took a two-pronged approach. They analyzed the surgical results of 135 single-port and 100 multi-port donors from the UMMC patient database and measured transplant outcomes. They also sent two questionnaires to 100 single-port patients and a group of 100 multi-port donors – all of whom had their procedures performed by the same surgeons with similar laparoscopic equipment at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The analysis determined that LESS surgery is a safe option for kidney donation without increasing risks or complications to the donor. Single-port nephrectomy leaves only one small scar in the center of the navel, which typically fades over time. The multi-port approach leaves several scars. Beyond the cosmetic benefit, the data suggested single-port donors were more satisfied with their donation decision. “For a living kidney donor who leaves the operating room with no health benefit from the surgical procedure and only a small band-aid over the umbilicus, LESS may be more,” says Barth.

“The single-port donor nephrectomy operation is more technically challenging than the standard multiple-port donation technique used nearly everywhere else in the U.S.” says Stephen T. Bartlett, M.D., the Peter Angelos Distinguished Professor; chair, Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and surgeon-in-chief at the University of Maryland Medical System. “Our Division of Transplantation has a long-standing reputation for leading the way in transplant innovation, and our surgeons are handpicked for their ability to master complex surgical techniques and consistently try to make the patient’s experience as safe and effective as possible.”

“Our transplant surgeons work tirelessly to assess and improve every angle of the transplant process,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor; and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The standard of care elsewhere is not good enough for our patients, and this team of surgeons continues to impress me with their commitment to the advancement of medicine through surgical excellence.”

The UMMC transplant team is conducting workshops to train other transplant surgeons in the LESS technique, and has been selected to author a chapter on this technique in the surgical textbook Kidney Transplantation.

This study on single-port donor nephrectomy is a natural milestone in the surgical advancement of living kidney donation. In 2003, UMMC urologist Michael W. Phelan, M.D., a co-author of this Annals of Surgery paper, published a study on the advances in laparoscopic nephrectomy, which accurately predicted the increased use and standardization of laparoscopic techniques for kidney donation.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), as of June 1, 2012, more than 92,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list in the U.S. Living donation can help many patients receive a transplant sooner and avoid dialysis or deteriorating health that often occurs while waiting for a transplant from a deceased donor.

The University of Maryland Division of Transplantation, which focuses on kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation, is one of the nation’s largest transplant programs, set to exceed 400 transplants in 2012. The Division offers living donation as an option for liver and kidney patients to decrease patient wait times and improve patient outcomes.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine,
University of Maryland Medical Center

Founded in 1807, the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore is the oldest public medical school in the United States, and the first to institute a residency training program. The School of Medicine was the founding school of the University of Maryland and today is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. The partnership between the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine allows cutting edge medical research and discovery to rapidly innovate and improve patient care and prepare the next generation of health care professionals through excellent training and education.
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is a 779-bed teaching hospital in Baltimore and the flagship institution of the 11-hospital University of Maryland Medical System. Patients are referred nationally and regionally for advanced medical, surgical and critical care. All physicians on staff at the Medical Center are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Barth RN, Phelan MW, Goldschen L, Munivenkatappa RB, Jacobs SC, Bartlett ST, Philosophe B. “Single-port donor nephrectomy provides improved patient satisfaction and equivalent outcomes.” Annals of Surgery. DATE NEEDED DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e318262ddd6

Media Contacts:

Bill Seiler (
Karen Lancaster (

Bill Seiler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>