The Weill Cornell Medicine pediatric kidney transplant program has been around almost as long as the adult program, with the first transplant in a pediatric patient occurring in early 1964.
Today, the multidisciplinary pediatric kidney transplant program crosses several specialties, with an integrated healthcare team comprised of transplant surgeons, pediatric nephrologists and pediatric urologists, as well as psychiatrists, nutritionists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists.
We have been offering steroid free immunosuppression protocols for eligible patients since 2001. This has resulted in improved growth for our patients while maintaining nationally comparable allograft survival rates. With the availability of our comprehensive donor exchange programs most of our patients receive a living kidney which has better outcomes than a deceased donor kidney. In addition, we have a world class immunogenetics lab which allows us to do tissue typing at molecular levels and also monitor routinely post-transplant for development of donor specific antibodies.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, we are acutely aware of the psychosocial stressors a child’s chronic illness can cause to families. To ease the burden for the families we have set-up a multidisciplinary clinic for transplant evaluations. The family will meet the entire team taking care of them in one place including the transplant surgeon, nephrologist, urologist, coordinator, social worker, nurse educator and nutritionist. During the evaluation, your child will undergo blood tissue typing and crossmatch (we need this information to find a compatible kidney for your child.) Decisions about the transplant process can be made the same day by discussions among the various team members and communicated to the families in a timely manner.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, we strongly believe that knowledge is a comfort as well as power. To enhance the families knowledge about kidney transplantation we offer education at various time points in the transplant process. Initially, it is offered at the time of the transplant evaluation by the transplant coordinator. To make it more effective, we have devised an educational program to be given by our nurse educator and social worker more closer to the actual time of transplantation. In addition, we have created an informational brochure for the families to take home after transplantation which will have all the details of post-transplant care.
Kidney transplant is the recommended renal replacement therapy for children with severe chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease. Dialysis is usually short-term and serves as a bridge until they can get a kidney transplant. Kidney transplantation offers better survival and better quality of life compared to remaining on dialysis.
In children, most of the chronic kidney disease is due to congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract. Other significant causes of kidney failure include conditions such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, cystic diseases of the kidney, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and C3 glomerulopathy.
For the majority of patients, kidney transplantation offers better survival and better quality of life compared to remaining on dialysis. By applying new surgical techniques and approaches to expand the donor pool, we provide exceptional care with an expert team of pediatric nephrologists for children and adolescents in need of a kidney transplant.
The kidney transplantation team includes:
Pediatric Nephrologists who are experts in their field and provide compassionate care to their patients. They are the primary caretakers for your child during the transplant process and after. They interface with other members of the team to devise a comprehensive plan of care for your child pre-transplant.
Pediatric urologists who are renowned for reconstructive surgical procedures to enhance the chance of a successful outcome after transplantation by correcting kidney and/or bladder abnormalities in a child before the transplant. Their goal is to help children achieve continence while ensuring the survival of the transplanted kidney.
Transplant Surgeons, who are skilled in transplanting adult kidneys into children. These larger kidneys have more reserve and usually function better than pediatric donor kidneys. In addition, leading-edge therapies are used to help reduce the side effects of anti-rejection drugs, and we routinely use a medication protocol that avoids long-term use of steroids.
Pediatric Transplant Coordinator who will manage appointments and testing so that patients and families receive seamless care from the physicians and health professionals they have come to know. This helps families to manage the fear, worry, and confusion that may surround your child’s health condition.
We know this is a stressful time, and we will do everything in our power to make your child’s transplant journey as smooth as possible.
Patients and family members also receive comprehensive transplant counseling throughout the process from the decision to transplant through recovery.