Jennifer Humphrey, a Southington, Connecticut resident, was 27 and had an 18-month-old son, when she donated one of her kidneys to her father, Peter Lanza, a type 1 diabetic who had stopped traveling, avoided swimming pools because of risk of infection, and was spending eight hours each night on peritoneal dialysis. "Truly, I never gave a second thought to being the donor. I love my father," Humphrey said.
Sanjay Kulkarni, MD, director of kidney transplants for Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center, removed Humphrey's kidney through three incisions, each less than an inch wide. Humphrey spent two nights in the hospital. Kidney donors are instructed to recover at home for two weeks, but Humphrey, a registered nurse, bounced back quickly, and was back at the University of Connecticut earning her master's degree six days after surgery.
Dr. Kulkarni, assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, introduced the technique at YNHH when he arrived in 2005 and is training his fellow transplant surgeons to use it. "Laparoscopic surgery has been a revolution in the world of kidney transplants," he said. "We will probably do more than 100 kidney transplants this year, which would place us as the largest kidney program in New England."