Medical City Fort Worth January 09, 2017

Sameh Fayek performing single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS).

FORT WORTH – A pioneering surgical procedure now being performed at Medical City Fort Worth allows a living kidney donor to donate the organ through a single incision in the belly button, leaving virtually no visible scar.

The first surgery of this type in North Texas was recently performed at Medical City Fort Worth, formerly Plaza Medical Center, for a patient who donated a kidney to a relative. Transplant surgeon Sameh Fayek, MD, performed the minimally invasive procedure, called single incision laparoscopic surgery, or SILS. Medical City Fort Worth is one of only a handful of U.S. transplant centers that offer this technically advanced surgical procedure for living kidney donors.

“After the incision heals, most of it is hidden within the V-shaped area of the belly button," Dr. Fayek explained. “In addition to the cosmetic appeal of this procedure, it potentially means a shorter hospital stay, less pain and a faster recovery for the organ donor, allowing them to get back to their life more quickly.”

Transplant surgeon George Rofaiel, MD, also recently performed a robotic right donor nephrectomy at Medical City Fort Worth – the first at that facility – to remove a kidney from a living donor using the da Vinci Xi® surgical system.

“These are highly complex laparoscopic procedures, and the hope is that minimally invasive options like these will encourage more people to consider living organ donation,” Dr. Fayek says.

More than 99,000 people are currently on the waiting list in the United States for a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

“Kidney transplants performed from living donors may offer better outcomes for recipients and a life-saving alternative to an often long, uncertain wait on the list for an organ from a deceased donor,” says Sridhar Allam, MD, medical director for Medical City Transplant Institute – Fort Worth.

Medical City Transplant Institute - Fort Worth, formerly the Fort Worth Transplant Institute at Plaza Medical Center, has one of the best one-year graft survival rates in the nation for kidney transplants – 100 percent, according to a 2016 report from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. The Fort Worth program also has one of the shortest wait times in the United States for patients to receive a transplant – approximately six months, compared to more than 72 months wait time nationally.