The worldwide focus on work hour regulations and patient safety has led to the re-examination of the merits of night-time surgery, including kidney transplantation. The risks of operating during nontraditional work hours with potentially fatigued surgeons and staff must be weighed against the negative effects of prolonged cold ischemic time with resultant graft compromise. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of performing renal transplantation procedures during evening versus day time hours. The main outcome measures assessed between the day and night cohorts included comparisons of the postoperative complication rates and survival outcomes for both the renal allograft and the patient. A retrospective review of 633 deceased donor renal transplants performed at a single institution was analyzed. Three statistically significant results were noted, namely, a decrease in vascular complications in the nighttime cohort, an increase in urologic complications on subgroup analysis in the 3 AM to 6 AM cohort, and the 12 AM to 3 AM subgroup had the greatest odds of any complication. There was no statistical difference in either patient or graft survival over a twelve month period following transplantation. We conclude that although the complication rate varied among cohorts this was clinically insignificant and there was no overall clinically relevant impact on patient or graft survival.
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