Obesity is frequently present in patients suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, overweight kidney transplant candidates are a challenge for the transplant surgeon. Obese patients tend to develop a large abdominal panniculus after weight loss creating an area predisposed to wound-healing disorders. Due to concerns about graft survival and postoperative complications after kidney transplantation, obese patients are often refused in this selective patient cohort. The study aimed to analyze the effect of panniculectomies on postoperative complications and transplant candidacy in an interdisciplinary setting.
A retrospective database review of 10 cases of abdominal panniculectomies performed in patients with ESRD prior to kidney transplantation was conducted.
The median body mass index was 35.2 kg/m2 (range 28.5-53.0 kg/m2) at first transplant-assessment versus 31.0 kg/m2 (range 28.0-34.4 kg/m2) at panniculectomy, and 31.6 kg/m2 (range 30.3-32.4 kg/m2) at kidney transplantation. We observed no major postoperative complications following panniculectomy and minor wound-healing complications in 2 patients. All aside from 1 patient became active transplant candidates 6 weeks after panniculectomy. No posttransplant wound complications occurred in the transplanted patients.
Abdominal panniculectomy is feasible in patients suffering ESRD with no major postoperative complications, thus converting previously ineligible patients into kidney transplant candidates. An interdisciplinary approach is advisable in this selective patient cohort.

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