Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy increases the supply of living donor kidneys: a center-specific microeconomic analysis.
BACKGROUND: A tenet of microeconomics is that new technology will shift the supply curve to the right. Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) is a new technique for removal of living donor kidneys. Centers performing this procedure have noted an increased number of patients presenting for donor evaluation. This has not been previously studied. METHODS: The records of all LDN performed from May 1998 to February 1999 were reviewed. The following variables were examined: sex, age, related vs. unrelated donation, estimated blood loss, i.v. analgesia, length of stay, and time out of work. Donors undergoing traditional open donor nephrectomy during January 1997 to May 1998 served as the control group. A composite cost index was constructed. RESULTS: LDN significantly decreased length of stay, pain, and time out of work; the supply function shifted to the right. Telephone interviews revealed that 47% donated solely because of the LDN procedure. CONCLUSIONS: LDN increases the supply of living donor kidneys.
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