The Morbidity of Prolonged Wound Drainage after Kidney Transplantation

Document Type


Publication Date



The Journal of Urology





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier



PURPOSE: The consequences of prolonged wound drainage, defined as extravasation of more than 50 ml. fluid daily for more than 1 week through a drain or wound after renal transplantation, have not been well described in the literature. We examine the association of prolonged wound drainage with other clinical events, and its impact on hospitalization, and patient and graft survival.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively documented prolonged wound drainage in 392 recipients of cadaver and live renal transplants from July 1993 to December 1997. Potential risk factors, associated outcomes within the first 6 months and effect on length of hospital stay due to prolonged wound drainage were determined.

RESULTS: Prolonged wound drainage was significantly associated with pre-transplantation weight, weight gain by post-transplantation day 3, delayed graft function and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis on univariate analysis but only with delayed graft function (odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence intervals 1.4 to 5.6) on multivariate analysis. Post-transplantation lymphoceles (5.2, 9 to 14), wound infection (27, 5.7 to 130) and wound dehiscence (5.8, 1.7 to 20) were associated with prolonged wound drainage. Patients with prolonged wound drainage stayed 8.7 additional days during the first hospitalization and overall 11.3 additional days during the first 6 months after transplantation independent of other co-morbid events, such as delayed graft function, rejection or cytomegalovirus disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged wound drainage is an important post-renal transplantation event that impacts patient outcomes and hospital resource use. Efforts to prevent this complication should be considered.


Dr. Vivian McAlister is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.