Early this week, a surgeon successfully removed a healthy kidney through a donor's vagina for transplantation, the first operation of its kind. The donor and the recipent, the donor's niece, are both recovering. Typically, removing the kidney requires a six-inch incision through the belly and the donor is in the hospital for several days after. With the new procedure, the donor could likely go home in a day. From CNN:
"Removing the kidney through a natural opening should hasten the patient's recovery and provide a better cosmetic result," (Johns Hopkins Medical Center transplant surgeon Robert) Montgomery said.
He told CNN on Tuesday, "We want to make it easier for people to donate, to have less impact on their lives, [be] in hospital a shorter amount of time and get back to their lives quicker."
The woman was chosen to be the first donor to undergo the procedure because a previous hysterectomy enabled doctors to operate without a uterus obstructing their efforts, he added.