Pediatric Transplant Care

Pediatric Kidney Transplant

Turn to University Health for high-quality care when your child’s kidney specialist recommends a transplant. You will find the only pediatric kidney transplant center in San Antonio at University Hospital.

Our living donor program has allowed us to perform more pediatric kidney transplants with organs from living donors than any other transplant program in the country. The credit for much of that success goes to the Institute’s Champion for Life program, which helps patients needing organs reach potential donors. Patients identify a donor champion who supports them as they learn how to share their stories on social media and among networks of friends and relatives.

Why Do Some Kids Need a Kidney Transplant?

Some children are born with kidney problems. Others develop diseases that can damage their kidneys. If they have long-lasting kidney disease or severe kidney damage, it can lead to kidney failure. This is when the kidneys do not properly filter the blood. Treatment options for a child with kidney failure are dialysis to do the work of the kidneys, or a kidney transplant.

Learn more about kidney care and dialysis at University Health.

What Is a Pediatric Kidney Transplant?

If your child’s doctor recommends a kidney transplant, it means a surgeon will replace your child’s kidney with a healthy kidney.

Benefits of a Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant allows your child to live a more normal life after their new kidney starts working. Your child may benefit from:

  • Better overall health
  • Fewer limits on food and drink
  • Longer life
  • More energy
  • No need for dialysis

Leaders in Living Donor Kidney Transplants

University Transplant Institute leads the nation in living donor kidney transplants in children. Our transplant surgeons performed more pediatric transplants with kidneys from living donors than any other transplant center in the U.S.

Count on the superior experience and knowledge of our transplant team at University Health when your child needs a kidney transplant. We commit to caring for your child through their lives and helping them transition from pediatric to adult care.

Recognized Transplant Care

Our pediatric kidney program is designated as a transplant Center of Excellence by OptumHealth and an Institute of Excellence by Aetna. This means we have experts who provide complete transplant care for the best outcomes for your child.

Referrals for Transplant Care

Your child’s doctor who recommended a kidney transplant can start the referral process to University Health. You can also make an appointment without a doctor’s referral.

Your Child’s Transplant Journey

Our transplant care team will support you throughout the transplant process. The steps include:

Long History of Successful Transplants

Highly skilled surgeons at University Hospital performed the first pediatric kidney transplant in 1988. Since then, our surgeons have performed over 1,300 kidney transplants, including many successful living donor transplants.

Our patient survival rates have consistently met or exceeded national averages at one year. Go to the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients website to view our most recent outcomes.

Lifesaving Transplant Stats
  • 10 children received kidneys from living donors via the Transplant Institute in 2022
  • 742 total pediatric and adult living donor kidney transplants performed since 1985
  • 344 pediatric kidney transplants have been performed since 1988
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