New procedure for organ donation

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Doctors in Chicago are among the few performing the innovative new procedure of donating an organ through the belly button, and they think it will boost the number of people willing to go under the knife for a loved one.

Just nine days ago, Veronica Sandoval was on an operating table at Rush University Medical Center. She was donating a kidney to her mother Maria, who has suffered from kidney disease for 36 years.

Veronica’s positive spirit has a lot to do with a specially designed port transplant surgeon Sameh Fayek used to remove her kidney.

“This would decrease the number of incisions in the patient and the pain would be less and recovery would be expedited. The hospital stay might decrease,” said Dr. Fayek.

In a traditional laparoscopic kidney removal, surgeons make three to four small incisions in the donor’s abdomen so they can place instruments and a camera at the organ site. Then a four inch cut is made to remove the kidney.

“The more cut, the more risk, the more pain because you have multiple areas that are essentially bruised and have incisions,” Dr. Fayek said.

Now, single incision laparoscopic surgery is changing the approach. Dr. Fayek made one cut in Veronica’s navel to insert the special port, which is designed to accommodate all the necessary instruments. The same incision is used to retrieve the kidney.

“It has multiple ports which allow us to insert multiple instruments to do the operation to essentially free the kidney from all the attachments and get the kidney ready to be removed,” Dr. Fayek said. “We place a bag through the same port, put the kidney in the bag, pull the kidney out through the same incision.”

“Afterwards, it’s wow, it’s so little. The recovery time is so fast,” Sandoval said.

There are four other sites around the country where doctors are performing single incision kidney removal.

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