I met the husband of an amazing woman! I post this because I like to highlight here on GretaWire some of the amazing goodness that surrounds us — and some we don’t even realize unless a happenstance meeting.
This week I happen to be at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and met a man who was waiting while his wife was getting surgery. I was not nosy and did not ask about the surgery – he instead volunteered details because he was so proud of her. He told me that his wife was in surgery at the moment giving one of her kidneys to someone she does not know. I think he said the recipient lives in St. Louis. He tipped me off that it was part of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s ‘non directed donor’ program. The director is Rolf Barth, M.D.
I dug a bit deeper and learned that there is a very active and successful ‘non directed kidney donation program’ at the University of Maryland Medical Center. People volunteer one of their two kidneys to strangers since we don’t need two kidneys to live.
This program is CERTAINLY not for everyone and I am not posting this for you to join and give a kidney but merely to highlight the goodness of some and the amazing advances in medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The removal of the kidney is done via laparoscopic method which makes it remarkably easy for the donor. Here is what I read on the University of Maryland Medical Center website about the program and the surgery:
I also lifted this Q and A info from their website: [CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE]
What surgical technique is most commonly used to remove kidneys from living donors?
In recent years, laparoscopic surgery has become the standard technique employed by surgeons to remove kidneys from living donors. This approach requires three or four tiny incisions in the abdomen, through which the surgeon inserts a camera and other instruments. Another four-inch incision is also required through which the kidney is then removed.
How does the single-incision surgical option differ from traditional laparoscopic surgery?
Single-incision laparoscopic kidney removal actually employs the same tools and techniques as conventional laparoscopic surgery. However, instead of making several incisions in the donor’s abdomen, the surgeon uses a specially-designed port which is placed in the belly button and can accommodate all of the surgeon’s instruments. Using this approach, surgeons can accomplish everything, including removal of the donor kidney, through a single opening in the belly button.
How is the single-incision surgery performed?
To remove a kidney using the single-incision laparoscopic technique, surgeons use a single opening through the donor’s belly button. In this opening, they place a specially-designed port, which accommodates a camera and two laparoscopic instruments which are manipulated by the surgeon to separate the kidney from its attachments in the abdomen. The kidney is removed through that same opening. Only a tiny bandage is required to close the navel, and there are no scars.
How many hospitals use this single-incision laparoscopic technique to remove kidneys from living donors?
The University of Maryland Medical Center is the first and only hospital in Maryland, and only the third hospital in the United States, to perform a single-incision laparoscopic kidney removal surgery through the belly button of a living kidney donor.
Which donors would qualify to be candidates for this special procedure?
Most kidney donors will qualify for this new approach.
What are the benefits of single-incision laparoscopic kidney removal for living donors?
Those donors who undergo the single-incision laparoscopic procedure often experience a faster recovery than those who undergo the traditional approach. In addition, these donors also come out of surgery with only a single scar that often disappears.