Robotic living donor nephrectomy is associated with reduced post-operative opioid use compared to hand-assisted laparoscopic approach

Amen Z. Kiani, Kristin Progar, Angela L. Hill, Neeta Vachharajani, Franklin Olumba, Jennifer Yu, William C. Chapman, Majella B. Doyle, Jason R. Wellen, Adeel S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Robotic donor nephrectomy (RDN) has emerged as a safe alternative to laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN). Having previously demonstrated comparable efficacy, this study aims to examine postoperative analgesia use (opioid and non-opioid) in the two groups. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 300 living donor nephrectomies performed at our center, comparing 150 RDN’s with a contemporary cohort of 150 hand-assisted LDN’s. In addition to clinical and demographic information, data on postoperative inpatient opioid and non-opioid analgesia (from patient’s arrival to the surgical floor after surgery till the time of discharge) was collected. Opioid dosages were standardized by conversion to morphine milligram equivalents (MME). All patients were managed post-operatively under a standardized ERAS pathway for living donor nephrectomy patients. Results: There were no significant differences in donor age, gender, and BMI between RDN and LDN groups. Total post-operative opioid use (MME’s) was significantly lower in RDN patients (RDN 27.1 vs. LDN 46.3; P < 0.0001). Breakdown of opioid use with post-operative (POD) day demonstrated significantly lower use in RDN group on POD1 (RDN 8.6 vs. LDN 17.0; P < 0.05), and POD2 (RDN 3.9 vs LDN 10; P < 0.05). RDN patients had a shorter post-operative length of stay (LOS) (RDN 1.69 days vs. LDN 1.98; P = 0.0003). There were no differences between groups in non-opioid medication use, complications, and readmission rates. Conclusion: RDN has comparable safety to hand-assist LDN and offers additional benefits of lower postoperative opioid requirement and a shorter hospital LOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3654-3660
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • Donor nephrectomy
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Living donation
  • Opioids
  • Pain management
  • Robotic surgery


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