Kidney Transplant: How it Works
Our kidney specialists have years of experience helping children and their families. In fact, UVA doctors have been performing kidney transplants for children since 1969.
Today, our specialists perform six to 10 pediatric kidney transplants per year and actively manage the care of about 30 children.
A Team Approach to Pediatric Kidney Care
An organ transplant is a complex procedure involving many different caregivers. At UVA, you’ll have an entire team working for the health of your child, including:
- Transplant surgeons
- Pediatric kidney specialists
- Social workers
- Specialists from other departments
- Child life specialists
Every child is different, and each needs a different level of care. We’ll make sure you and your child has everything you need for a successful procedure and outcome.
Getting Ready for a Kidney Transplant
Our team will make sure you and your child are fully prepared for a kidney transplant. The process involves multiple appointments in order to make sure all of your child’s needs are met.
Although there’s a waiting list for kidneys, waiting times are currently well under one year.
The Benefits of Paired Donor Exchange
UVA is a participant in paired donor exchanges. Under a donor exchange, two or more donor-recipient pairs are matched with compatible set of kidneys. For instance, a child may have a friend or relative who agrees to donate a kidney but isn't a match. This person can still donate, but to another person in a similar situation. Meanwhile, the other recipient’s friend or family member donates a compatible kidney to the child. This greatly increases the available pool of donors.
Read more about kidney transplants and what to expect.