Most living kidney donors undergo a laparoscopic procedure, which involves pumping the abdominal region full of gas/air. This lifts the muscle and skin away from the organs and provides the surgeon and surgical tools with a clearer visual field (think about trying to maneuver under a blanket). This air/gas remains in the abdomen for some time, causing bloating and pain.
One set of researchers are finding that less air/gas (7 mmHg vs 14 mmHg) can get the job done just as well and ease the recovery of living kidney donors too.
…low pressure resulted in a significantly higher urine output (23 ± 35 vs. 11 ± 20 mL/h), lower cumulative overall pain score after 72 hours (9.4 ± 3.2 vs. 13.5 ± 4.5), lower deep intra-abdominal pain score (11 ± 3.3 vs. 7.5 ± 3.1), and a lower cumulative overall referred pain score (1.8 ± 1.9 vs. 4.2 ± 3).
So, for you prospective LKDs out there, consider asking your surgeon just *how much* air they’re pumping in there.
Warlé MC, Berkers AW, Langenhuijsen JF, van der Jagt MF, Dooper PM, Kloke HJ, Pilzecker D, Renes SH, Wever KE, Hoitsma AJ, van der Vliet JA, & D’Ancona FC (2013). Low-pressure pneumoperitoneum during laparoscopic donor nephrectomy to optimize live donors’ comfort. Clinical transplantation PMID: 23795745