About This Program
The Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program is a specialty program within the Pediatric Abdominal Transplant Center, a clinical partnership between Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin.
The Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents with chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease. We work with you and your family to develop a treatment plan specific to your child’s needs, using a combination of specialized procedures and new medicines to prevent organ rejection. Our goal is to improve your child’s health and quality of life.
The Kidney Transplant Program utilizes two types of transplant donor sources for patients, living organ donors and deceased, or brain-dead, organ donors. Transplanting a kidney from a healthy donor into a recipient patient with kidney failure is called a living donation. Living kidney donations can come from a compatible donor who is related or unrelated to your child. Living Kidney Donor services are available through a partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin. You and your family will also have the option to participate in our paired kidney exchange program to help incompatible pairs of recipients/donors find matches for a kidney transplant. Only one donated kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys, as it is possible to live a healthy life with one kidney, which makes living-donor kidney transplantation an alternative to deceased-donor kidney transplantation. If a living donor isn’t available for your child, their name will be placed on the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) kidney transplant waitlist to receive a kidney from a deceased donor.
After your child’s transplant, your child (and, if living, your child’s donor) will receive ongoing care to minimize any potential complications and to help your child fully recover. The Kidney Transplant Program care team works closely with you and your family before, during, and after your child’s transplant to ensure favorable outcomes.
Patients are cared for by a dedicated multidisciplinary care team, meaning your child will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained transplant surgeons and transplant nephrologists have extensive experience in organ transplantation and work alongside a team of pediatric transplant experts, including transplant coordinators, nurses, advanced practice providers, social workers, psychologists, child life specialists, dietitians, pharmacists, and more, providing unparalleled care for patients and their families every step of the way.
We also collaborate closely with referring physicians and other partners in the community to schedule and coordinate any additional care services your child may need.
To be considered for a kidney transplant, your child must first undergo a thorough medical evaluation, which can take up to several months to complete and may involve a variety of tests, including a kidney ultrasound, chest X-ray, echocardiogram (echo), and electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) as well as laboratory testing, physical exams, and more. These test results allow the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program care team to determine your child’s candidacy for receiving a transplant. Upon completion of testing, all results will be reviewed with you and your family.