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Pediatric Transplant Care

Pediatric Kidney Transplant Surgery

The pediatric transplant surgeons at University Health can treat your child’s kidney failure with life-saving kidney transplantation.

Getting the Call for Transplantation

Your child’s transplant nurse coordinator will call you when a kidney from a deceased donor becomes available. You will receive specific instructions about what to do and when to come to University Hospital. Be sure to:

  • Bring your child’s health insurance information
  • Follow instructions about not allowing your child to eat or drink anything once you receive the call for a transplant
  • Have a backup plan for getting your child to the hospital
  • Bring a prepacked suitcase

Before Transplant Surgery

Be aware that a transplant is not guaranteed when you and your child arrive at University Hospital. Expect the transplant care team to do more procedures before approving your child’s kidney transplant surgery. These may include:

  • Blood work
  • Chest X-ray
  • Dialysis (if needed)
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Final crossmatch
  • IV medications and fluids
  • Physical examination and evaluation review

Reasons to Delay Transplant

Your child’s transplant could be canceled or postponed if:

  • Your child has signs of infection
  • There’s a problem with the donor kidney (we screen donor organs for health and compatibility)
  • Your child has a new medical problem we didn’t know about
  • The final crossmatch is positive, meaning your child has antibodies against the donor kidney that may cause rejection

Informed Consent

Complete your “informed consent” paperwork before your child’s transplant operation. This means you decide whether your child will have a kidney transplant.

Your Child’s Transplant Surgery

When it is time for surgery, our anesthesiologist will make sure your child is safe and asleep. Surgery will last three to four hours.

Your child’s skilled, experienced transplant surgeon will use the most current surgical techniques for kidney replacement surgery by:

  • Making an incision in the lower abdomen
  • Connecting the donor kidney to existing arteries, veins and the bladder

Your child’s remaining kidney may be left in place or removed if it is causing problems.

After surgery, your child will recover in a dedicated pediatric transplant intensive care unit.


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