Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Ireland's first transplant keyhole surgery

The first transplant operation to be performed in the State using keyhole surgery took place in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, recently when Cathal Mooney received a kidney from his sister Kate.

The technique allowed Kate Mooney (28) from Griffith Avenue in north Dublin to donate a kidney to her only sibling Cathal (31) without undergoing major abdominal surgery. Cathal was diagnosed with kidney failure over a year ago.

The removal of the donor kidney by hand-assisted keyhole surgery has meant a much speedier recovery for Kate, who was able to watch television just hours after her operation on Monday night and was out walking the next day. She expects to be discharged today. “I’m just amazed at how fine I am,” secondary school teacher Kate said.

Cathal has also recovered well after his surgery. He is already feeling fresher and more energetic, he says.

Dilly Little, who led the keyhole surgery team after she trained in the technique in Oslo, said that rather than making the traditional incision high in the abdomen to remove the donor kidney, she made a small 6cm to 7cm incision just above the pubic bone and put one of her hands in through a special port that had been fixed into the incision.

Instruments including a camera were then inserted into the abdomen through tiny incisions and the kidney was removed through the hand port.

“The donor kidney was then transplanted into her brother by surgeon David Hickey and his team in the traditional way,” she said.

Ms Little said more people might be keen to take part in the living donor transplant programme if it were done through keyhole surgery.

“I’d encourage anyone to do it,” said Kate.

(This report from Eithne Donnellan, Health Correspondent with the Irish Times, Saturday, 27th November - Photo of Cathal and Kate by Aidan Crawley)

View video report on TV3 News:


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