Background: Data on chronic pain after kidney donation are sparse. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of chronic pain after hand-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy.
Methods: Living kidney donors who donated between 2011 and 2017 at the University Medical Centre Groningen were included. All patients underwent hand-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Postdonation pain and movement disabilities were assessed using the Carolinas Comfort Scale (CCS) and a visual analogue scale (VAS). The prevalence, severity of pain and the need for analgesics were reported.
Results: Some 333 living kidney donors with a mean age of 56 years were included. At a median of 19 (i. q. r. 10-33) months after donation, 82 donors (24.6 per cent) had a CCS score above 0, of which 58 (71 per cent) had a CCS score of at least 2 and 57 (70 per cent) reported movement limitations. Some 110 donors (33.0 per cent) had a VAS score of more than 0. Complaints mainly occurred during bending over (12.3 per cent) and exercising (12.4 per cent). Thirty-two donors (9.7 per cent) required analgesics during follow-up between donation and the time of measurement, and six of 82 (7 per cent) reported chronic inguinal pain. In multivariable analysis, donor age (odds ratio (OR) 0.97, 95 per cent c. i. 0.95 to 0.99; P = 0.020) and length of hospital stay (OR 1.21, 1.01 to 1.51; P = 0.041) were independently associated with chronic pain.
Conclusion: One-quarter of donors experienced chronic postdonation pain or discomfort, most of which was bothersome. Younger donors and those with a longer postoperative hospital stay hadmore symptoms.