It must be acknowledged that sometimes there are complications for kidney donors as a consequence of surgery. They are rare, but can be tragic. Florinda Gotcher donated a kidney to her sister. Tragically, right after surgery she bled internally and passed away. This was because the clip that was used to close her renal artery had slipped off. These tiny clips are not supposed to be used in laparoscopic kidney surgery. I had read about this before my surgery and asked the surgeon if he used these clips to close the renal artery and he said no, he did not use them.
The manufacturer has sent letters to surgeons warning them not to use the clips in laparoscopic kidney surgery. The clip packaging has a warning symbol advising doctors to look at the instructions that come with a separate tool used to apply the clips. The instructions, which are typically not kept in operating rooms, state the clips should not be used on kidney donors.
From the CNN article:
To remove a kidney for donation, surgeons have to cut the renal artery They then have to close it back up again, or the patient would bleed to death. There are various ways to close the artery. Many surgeons use staples, but some use tiny surgical clips to hold it closed.These clips are considered safe to use in many types of surgeries, but not laparoscopic kidney donor surgeries. In donors surgeries, surgeons leave only a tiny stump of renal artery, and the clips can slip off. That’s what happened to Gotcher: when doctors opened her back up, they found the clips had slipped off the stump and were floating in a pool of blood in her abdomen.
So potential donors, before your surgery ask your surgeon what they use to close the renal artery.
Bless Florinda for her donation, and my thoughts go out to her family.