Before Your Child's Kidney Transplant

Getting ready for your child's kidney transplant can be overwhelming for both you and your child.

Questions or concerns? Call the kidney transplant team at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at 412-692-5182.

What to Expect Before Your Child's Pre-Transplant Testing and Exams

You should plan to spend two full days at UPMC Children's Hospital for your child's pre-transplant visit. Your child will have many tests.

Tests your child may need before a kidney transplant include:

Your child's care team will do a complete exam to make sure we know all about their health.

Many kids in kidney failure have problems with their renal system. We'll look for any issues we may need to fix with surgery, either before or during your child's kidney transplant.

Your Child's Kidney Transplant Team

You and your child will see some of these team members during your pre-transplant visit:

  • Transplant coordinator. Serves as your main point of contact throughout your child's kidney transplant journey. They'll answer your questions and align all aspects of your child's care, including keeping your child's PCP informed.
  • Nephrologist. Is the kidney doctor at UPMC Children's.
  • Transplant surgeon. Does your child's kidney transplant.
  • Dietitian. Gives advice and tips on proper nutrition to keep your child healthy while they wait for a kidney.
  • Social worker. Helps with non-health needs, such as transportation, where to stay near the hospital, and details on support groups.
  • Psychologist. Helps prepare you and your child for the challenges this journey can bring.
  • Child life specialist. Helps your child deal with the new feelings and life changes that may occur before, during, and after their transplant.
  • Pharmacist. Provides the medicine your child needs during the kidney transplant process.

What to Do While You Wait for Your Child's Kidney

It's vital that your child stays as healthy as they can after the pre-transplant exams and tests.

Here's what you should do while you and your child wait for a kidney:

  • Tell your transplant coordinator about any changes in your child's health, including fever or infections.
  • Make sure we can always reach you by phone. If you travel, let your transplant coordinator know. Also, give them contact info for others who can reach you right away.
  • Make sure your child has any further tests if needed.
  • Follow the advice of your child's dietitian.
  • Help keep your child from getting sick. Avoid people who are sick. Wash your child's and your hands often. Stay away from large crowds.
  • Always reach out to our team if you or your child need support or have questions. Call us at 412-692-5182.

When Your Child's Kidney Is Ready

If we have a potential matching donor kidney, your child's transplant coordinator will call you right away. You'll need to get to the hospital as soon as you can.

While you and your child are on the way, your transplant team will assess the donor kidney. They'll make sure is healthy and a good match for your child.

Contact the Kidney Transplant Program at UPMC Children's

If you have questions or concerns about your child's kidney disease or transplant, call our team at 412-692-5182.