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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Clipless management of the renal vein during hand-assist laparoscopic donor nephrectomy

Gregory S Rosenblatt and Michael J Conlin*

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Division of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 Sam Jackson Park Road, Mail code L588, Portland, Oregon, 97201, USA

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BMC Urology 2006, 6:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-6-23

Published: 15 September 2006



Laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy has become the preferred method of donor nephrectomy at many transplant centers. The laparoscopic stapling device is commonly used for division of the renal vessels. Malfunction of the stapling device can occur, and is often due to interference from previously placed clips. We report our experience with a clipless technique in which no vascular clips are placed on tributaries of the renal vein at or near the renal hilum in order to avoid laparoscopic stapling device misfires.


From December 20, 2002 to April 12, 2005, 50 patients underwent hand-assisted laparoscopic left donor nephrectomy (LDN) at our institution. Clipless management of the renal vein tributaries was used in all patients, and these vessels were divided using either a laparoscopic stapling device or the LigaSureTM device (Valleylab, Boulder, CO). The medical and operative records of the donors and recipients were reviewed to evaluate patient outcomes.


The mean follow-up time was 14 months. Of the 50 LDN procedures, there were no laparoscopic stapling device malfunctions and no vascular complications. All renal allografts were functioning at the time of follow-up.


Laparoscopic stapling device failure due to deployment across previously placed surgical clips during laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy can be prevented by not placing clips on the tributaries of the renal vein. In our series, there were no vascular complications and no device misfires. We believe this clipless technique improves the safety of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy.