Pediatric Kidney Transplant in Dallas

The pediatric renal team at Medical City Children's Hospital is dedicated to providing specialized care for children with end-stage renal kidney disease. We provide the most advanced care available and are devoted to empowering patients and families through education about their condition and the option for kidney transplantation. Medical City is also the only hospital in North Texas where a kidney recipient and donor can be treated in the same facility.

The highly experienced transplant team provides an interdisciplinary approach, with individual clinical programs designed to meet each child’s needs. We work diligently to perfect the latest techniques, refine protocols and help transplant candidates prepare for surgery.

The Renal Transplant Program at Medical City is certified as an approved transplant program by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Our team includes nephrologists, transplant surgeons, psychologists, nurses, dieticians, social workers, financial coordinators, administrative staff and child life specialists. Our specialists are well trained in the unique problems of young patients battling advanced renal disease, and work closely with the patient’s referring physician to ensure continuity of care and a successful post-transplant recovery.

Offering Transplantation as an Effective Treatment Option

When current medical therapies are not working to manage a child’s renal disease and quality of life is greatly impaired, a kidney transplant can be an effective treatment option.

How Does a Child Qualify to be a Transplant Candidate?

Each potential candidate is evaluated on an individual basis and undergoes an extensive series of tests to determine if transplant is the most appropriate treatment option. Children considered for a kidney transplant must receive clearance from all appropriate medical consultants and meet the following criteria:

  • Age 2 to 18
  • Irreversible end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • Weigh at least 25 pounds
  • Up-to-date immunizations
  • Compliant with all medical regimens

Who Pays For The Transplant Operation?

Most private health insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid cover pediatric kidney transplant, if the patient meets certain criteria. Our financial coordinator and social worker are available to help you through each step of the process.

Living Donation

Medical City is also the only hospital in North Texas where a kidney recipient and donor is treated in the same facility, which can be especially important for parents, family members, and friends who wish to donate. Candidates considering kidney donation should request a donor application from Medical City Children's Hospital Transplant. The donor evaluation and hospitalization are typically paid for by the recipient’s insurance. Volunteering to be a living donor is a generous act and a major decision. As such, no one should feel pressured into serving as a living donor, and should carefully consider this decision.

The potential donor will undergo a series of blood tests to determine if the blood type and tissue type are compatible with the recipient. The transplant team conducts additional evaluations and reviews test results for discussion and approval.

What is the Evaluation Process?

Patients visiting Medical City Transplant will undergo an extensive series of tests and evaluations to determine the appropriate treatment option. During the initial visit, the patient and their family will meet with the team of specialists to discuss the individual treatment plan. Patients typically undergo the following pre-transplant medical tests:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac evaluation — echocardiogram/EKG
  • Abdominal sonogram
  • Social work evaluation
  • Urology consultation
  • Dental and eye exam
  • Pap smear — for girls age 16 and older

Once approved, the patient’s name will be placed on the national UNOS transplant waiting list.