During living kidney donation, the left kidney is most often taken because the right kidney rests behind the liver. In simple terms, it’s easier to access the left kidney. But it also appears that the left kidney has a longer renal vessel than the right (an important consideration that is rarely, if ever, mentioned during living donor evaluation or informed consent).
The authors examined the outcomes of right vs left kidney transplants and found:
Transplants from deceased donors resulted in no discernible differences, BUT
Right kidney grafts from living donors had a much higher rate of “technical failure” than left kidney grafts.
“Technical failure was…defined as graft failure within 10 days without signs of acute rejection.”
If your surgeon suggests taking the right kidney over the left, do not be afraid to have this discussion.
Özdemir-van Brunschot, D., van Laarhoven, C., van der Jagt, M., Hoitsma, A., & Warlé, M. (2015). Is the Reluctance for the Implantation of Right Donor Kidneys Justified? World Journal of Surgery, 40 (2), 471-478 DOI: 10.1007/s00268-015-3232-0