Technical modification for laparoscopic donor nephrectomy to minimize testicular pain: A complication with significant morbidity

S. P. Shirodkar, M. A. Gorin, J. Sageshima, V. G. Bird, J. M. Martinez, A. Zarak, G. Guerra, L. Chen, G. W. Burke, G. Ciancio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The laparoscopic approach to donor nephrectomy is becoming increasingly common. While it is felt that the recovery from laparoscopic nephrectomy is quicker and less painful, a number of complications have been reported. A rarely reported on complication in the literature with significant morbidity is ipsilateral orchalgia. From 1998 to 2008, 257 hand-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomies were performed at our institution. Eight of 129 (6.2%) men complained of de novo ipsilateral orchalgia postoperatively. The average duration of pain was 402 days. Patients reported significant morbidity related to this complication. None, however, required further treatment. Three patients reported that they would reconsider organ donation as a result of testicular pain. Our technique originally included dissection and ligation of the gonadal vein en bloc with the ureter at the level of the left common iliac artery. Since recognizing this complication, we have adopted a gonadal vein sparing approach so as not to disturb the vessel below its point of ligation at the renal vein. To date, 50 patients have undergone the modified technique without experiencing orchalgia. In conclusion, ipsilateral testicular pan is a relatively frequent complication of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and may be a source of significant morbidity. Using a modified surgical technique, this complication can be reduced or eradicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1034
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • donor nephrectomy
  • laparoscopy
  • orchalgia
  • testicular pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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