Kidney transplant

Giving children the chance they deserve

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has been improving the health of children with end-stage kidney disease for decades.

Children who undergo kidney transplants tend to have longer life spans and a better quality of life compared to other children who stay on dialysis. A kidney transplant can help a child feel more energetic and lead an active life.

Our goal at Children’s to restore your child to health and get him or her back to an active life and a normalized childhood as quickly and safely as possible. As a result, 100% of our kidney transplant patients return to school about a month post-surgery.

A team dedicated to your child

The Children’s kidney transplant team is with you and your family through every phase of the process, from evaluation to surgery to follow-up care. We want to assure your child is at his or her best. Your transplant coordinator will help guide you through each step.

Our experienced, dedicated specialists include:

  • Pediatric nephrologist (kidney specialist)
  • Transplant surgeon
  • Transplant coordinator
  • Clinical nurses
  • Social worker
  • Dietitian
  • Pharmacist
  • Child life specialist
  • Child psychologist
  • Financial counselor

Other pediatric specialists as required.

Improving the transplant process

As the first in the state to perform a pediatric combined kidney and heart transplant, our world class team is dedicated to improving outcomes for children in renal failure.

As a part of that initiative, we have built key partnerships. Our affiliation with Froedtert Hospital allows for the best care of the donor. The transplant teams at the two facilities make the living donor transplant process as easy and seamless as possible.

We work with three different donor types in the hope of finding a donor kidney for your child as quickly as possible. These three sources are:

  • Relatives of your child
  • Non-related living donor
  • Deceased donor

In addition, Children’s works with researchers at the Blood Center of Wisconsin to perform transplants between donors and recipients with incompatible blood types. This can reduce the amount of time spent waiting for a kidney to become available.

Children’s also collaborates with Dr. Ellis Avner, an internationally renowned researcher in polycystic kidney disease. As a result of his work with our liver team, children with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease can be offered the option of liver transplant.

Patient stories: Tyler and Max

Read how a kidney transplant changed their lives.

Learn more about UNOS

The United Network for Organ Sharing manages the nation’s organ donation system.

Conditions

A number of conditions can lead to end-stage renal failure and the need for kidney transplant, including:

  • Congenital kidney disorders
  • Acquired diseases
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Polycystic kidney disease

Read more about the kidney transplant conditions >>

Transplant process

The pediatric kidney transplant process at Children’s includes the following steps:

  • Evaluation
  • Living donors
  • Placement on UNOS list
  • Pre-transplant education
  • Kidney transplant
  • Aftercare
  • Follow-up care

Read more about the kidney transplant process >>

Research

One of the most important ways we work on behalf of children and their families is through our research initiatives in pediatric kidney transplant. This includes: