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Donor's surgery

A 10 inch long cut is made on the stomach on left or right depending on the kidney to be removed.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 28, 2003 21:30 IST

A ten inch long cut is made on the stomach ( or on the side) on the left or right depending on the kidney to be removed. This is done under general anaesthesia. The surgeon cuts through three layers of tissue.

The kidney is taken out and the donor is stitched up. The procedure takes about four hours. After the operation, the patient is given painkillers, nourishment is given intravenally and a catheter is used for urine collection. A week’s hospital stay is essential.

Alternatively, laparascopic removal is also possible. Here the cut is smaller, the operation is less invasive and requires shorter hospital stay. However this procedure is not as common as surgery.


In India racketeering in organs was rampant in the early nineties. Poor people were tempted to sell their kidneys for a few thousand rupees by middlemen who made huge profits. Apart from the moral issues, poor aftercare was reported for donors.

However, if the operation is done in a hospital of good standing, there are no major risks involved, if the donor is generally healthy.

The donor has to cope with


and is usually


for a week or so. By this time, he or she is able to walk and use the toilet without help.

He or she has to guard against infection in the area of incision.

As with any surgery under anaesthesia, the possibility of catching pneumonia exists.

Collapsed lung. The kidney is close to the lung, and the pleura, the space around the lung, may be accidentally opened during surgery. If so, the lung may collapse. In such a case, a tube is inserted in the chest to expand the lung.


First Published: Oct 28, 2003 21:30 IST