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Kidney transplant

Kidney transplant for children 

Kids should be kids: They should be able to play, learn and have fun with friends. And when serious illnesses, like kidney failure, keep them from enjoying the things they love most, we’ll be here to help them get back to recovery; back to being a kid. For some children, that may include a kidney transplant. At CHoR, you can take comfort in knowing an experienced and compassionate team will be by your side. 

Why choose CHoR for your child’s kidney transplant? 

  • We are part of VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center, which is a leader in transplantation.  
  • The Hume-Lee team has performed more than 3,200 kidney transplants since 1962. 
  • Our experienced team of transplant physicians and surgeons perform an average of 275 to 300 kidney transplants each year. 
  • With one of the shortest average wait times in the region for a deceased donor kidney transplant, your child can get back to the business of being a kid – sooner. 
  • We perform both pediatric living as well as deceased donor transplants. Your child will have access to innovative and advanced therapies, including desensitization techniques, simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants, among others. 
  • We offer early listing under UNOS guidelines so that your child can accrue “time on the list” in order to expedite the path to kidney transplantation

Why do children need kidney transplantation? 

Your child’s kidney does the important job of removing waste and water from the body. Typically, the kidneys act as a filter, sending blood and waste out of the body as urine. If your child has kidney failure, it means their kidneys cannot effectively remove that waste and water from the blood. This can lead to very serious complications, including organ failure.  

Kidney failure in children can be caused by many different conditions, including: 

  • Birth defects 
  • Diabetes
  • Hereditary diseases, like polycystic kidney disease (which may not present in adulthood) 
  • Infection, including hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Lupus 
  • Nephrotic syndrome 
  • Trauma 
  • Urine blockage or reflux 

What happens during kidney transplant surgery? 

One healthy kidney can effectively do the job of two kidneys. During surgery, your child’s surgeon will implant a healthy kidney. There are two types of kidney donors: 

  • Living donors who donate one kidney and go on to live a healthy, full life with just one kidney. Organs from living donors are often healthier and so are recipients since they don’t have to spend as much time waiting for an organ. 
  • Deceased donors who donate kidneys (and other organs) after they have died 

CHoR offers both types of kidney transplantation surgeries. The transplant team works closely with families to find the quickest path to organ donation, which may include getting listed on the kidney donation list, signing up for a living donor exchange, or testing friends and families to find a match.  Additionally,  this transplant team takes part in “kidney swaps’ and “kidney chains” in order to maximize options for kidney transplantation.

After kidney transplantation surgery, your child will need regular follow-up appointments with our nationally-ranked pediatric nephrology team to monitor their progress and how their body is responding to the new organ. Your child will also need to take medication to reduce the risk of the body rejecting the transplanted kidney. 

Learn more about kidney transplant at CHoR 

We understand that learning your child needs a kidney transplant can be an overwhelming time. We’re here to answer your questions, ease your concerns and support you every step of the way. Call us today at (804) 828-CHoR and let’s get started – together. 

 
Shirley Alexander-Das
Shirley Alexander-Das MSW, LCSW Nephrology Read more
David Bruno
David Bruno MD, FACS Transplant surgery Read more
Timothy Bunchman
Timothy Bunchman MD Nephrology Read more
Adrian Cotterell
Adrian Cotterell MD Transplant surgery Read more
Julia Goble
Julia Goble BSN, RN-BC Nephrology Read more
Christina Halligan
Christina Halligan RD Nephrology Read more

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