objective: report the authors？ initial experience with hand-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy technique in renal donors for transplantation. materials and methods: twenty-seven donors submitted to hand-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy were retrospectively analyzed from february 2001 to june 2002. technical aspects of the donor surgery, results, and complications, are discussed, as well as recipient？s complications and outcomes. results: among 27 hand-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomies, left kidney was withdrew in 18 donors (66.6%), and right kidney in 9 (33.3%). the operative time ranged from 55 to 210 minutes (mean 132.7 ± 37.6 min), and the time of hot ischemia ranged from 2 to 11 minutes (mean 4.7 ± 2.5 min), with an estimated mean blood loss during the intraoperative period of 133.3 ml. conversion to open surgery was necessary for 1 (3.7%) patient due to vascular lesion. in graft evaluation, immediate diuresis was observed in 26 (96.3%) cases, and mean serum creatinine in po day 7 was 1.5 ± 1.1 mg/dl. renal vein thrombosis occurred in 1 (3.7%) patient requiring graft removal. lymphocele was observed in 3 recipients (11.1%), and urinary leakage due to ureteral necrosis in 1 case (3.7%). conclusion: hand-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy in living donors is a safe procedure and an effective alternative to open nephrectomy. in this series, the procedure presented low morbidity after surgery providing to the recipient a good morphological and functional quality of the graft.