Historically, urologists were the primary surgeons in renal transplantation. Specialization and increased complexity of the field of transplantation, coupled with a de-emphasis of vascular surgical training in urology, has created a situation where many renal transplants are carried out by surgeons with a general surgery background. Because of its genitourinary nature, however, urological input in renal transplantation is still vital. For living donors, a urologist should be involved to help evaluate and prepare certain patients for eventual donation. This could involve both medical and surgical intervention. Additionally, urologists who carry out living donor nephrectomy maintain a sense of ownership in the renal transplant process and provide a unique opportunity to the trainees of that particular program. For renal transplant recipients, preoperative evaluation of voiding dysfunction and other genitourinary anomalies might be necessary before the transplant. Also, occasional surgical intervention to prepare a patient for renal transplant might be necessary, such as in a patient with a small renal mass that is detected by a screening pretransplant ultrasound. Intraoperatively, for patients with complex urological reconstructions that might be related to the etiology of the renal failure (urinary diversion, bladder augmentation), a urologist who is familiar with the anatomy should be available. Postoperatively, urological evaluation and intervention might be necessary for patients who had a pre-existing urological condition or who might have developed something de novo after the transplant. Although renal transplant programs could consult an on-call urologist for particular issues on an as-needed basis, having a urologist, who has repeated exposure to the particular issues and procedures that are involved with renal transplantation, and who is part of a dedicated multidisciplinary renal transplant team, provides optimal quality of care to these complex patients.
Recommended CitationSackett, Daniel D; Singh, Pooja; and Lallas, Costas D, "Urological involvement in renal transplantation." (2011). Department of Urology Faculty Papers. Paper 13.