Is obesity a contraindication for kidney donation?

Lilli Schussler, Prerna Khetan, Matthew Peacock, Elisha Dickstein, Dianne LaPointe-Rudow, Michael Palese, Antonios Arvelakis, Daniel Herron, Ron Shapiro, Sander Florman, Edward H. Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: To enlarge the donor pool, kidney donors with obesity have been considered. We hypothesized that it is safe for patients with obesity to serve as living kidney donors. Methods: In this single-center retrospective analysis, we examined the effect of obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30–35 kg/m2) on glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and creatinine in patients undergoing laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Other outcomes included intraoperative, 30-, and 90-day complications. We examined the trajectory between patients with obesity versus patients without obesity over time using mixed effects models for the outcomes of creatinine in mg/dL and GFR in mL/min/1.73 m2. Results: Among donors with obesity versus donors without obesity, there were no significant differences in demographics or comorbidities. Baseline creatinine in donors with obesity was significantly greater than that of donors without obesity (p = 0.02). Operative time was significantly longer in donors with obesity versus without obesity (p = 0.03). There was no significant difference in 30-day morbidity between donors with obesity versus without obesity (6.52 vs. 3.57%, respectively; p = 0.38). The rate of graft complications was 8.7% in donors with obesity versus 7.1% in donors without obesity (p = 1.0). 90-day complications were infrequent, and not significant different between the groups. At 6, 12, and 24-month postoperative follow-up, the mean creatinine level in patients with obesity was not significantly different from that of patients without obesity (1.23 vs. 1.31, 1.23 vs. 1.26, and 1.17 vs. 1.19 at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively). Mean GFR was also not significantly different at 6, 12, and, 24 months. Conclusion: Postoperative creatinine and GFR changes were not significantly different in patients with obesity versus without obesity after laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. These findings suggest that carefully screened living kidney donors with obesity do not experience decreased postoperative renal function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4632-4637
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Creatinine
  • Donor
  • Donor nephrectomy
  • Obesity
  • Renal function
  • Transplantation


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