Kidney Transplant Program

Why choose Seattle Children's Kidney Transplant Program?

Ranked among the nation's top nephrology programs by US News and World ReportThe Kidney Transplant Program at Seattle Children's provides compassionate, state-of-the-art care to children who have kidney disease. For more than a decade, U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked our Nephrology Program among the top 10 pediatric nephrology programs in the country, which means your child will be cared for by the very best. Our program has been named a Center of Excellence by Optum's Clinical Sciences Institute and a Program of Excellence by Cigna LifeSOURCE.

We treat infants, children, teens and young adults from birth to age 21 for many types of short-term and chronic kidney disorders in our Nephrology Clinic. Nephrology is the branch of medicine that studies kidney functions and diseases.

For children with kidney failure, we provide care before, during and after kidney transplant. We have been treating kidney failure since 1984 and have excellent outcomes.

We also have inpatient and outpatient pediatric dialysis services available. Dialysis is a way to remove waste (such as nitrogen and creatinine) and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys are not able to function on their own.

Your child will visit the Nephrology Clinic for most pre-transplant, post-transplant and dialysis appointments. The kidney transplantation surgery will also be performed at Seattle Children's.

Your Care Team

Seattle Children's kidney transplant team is led by Dr. Patrick Healey, division chief of Transplantation.

Dr. Healey is one of the few pediatric transplant surgeons with formal training and expertise in both transplantation and pediatric surgery.

Our transplant doctors are constantly improving surgery techniques and immunosuppression strategies to provide patients and families with the most current treatments and the best care in pediatric nephrology.

What is a kidney transplant?

A kidney transplant is also called a renal transplant. “Renal” means kidney-related. The transplant is the process of placing a healthy donor kidney in a patient who needs it. A transplant may also involve removing the patient's own diseased kidneys. The transplant process requires extensive preparation and follow-up care for life.

Children may need a kidney transplant because their kidneys have stopped working or will soon stop working. When the kidneys are damaged or diseased, they can no longer work properly and waste (such as nitrogen and creatinine) builds up in the blood and damages the body. Learn more about how the kidneys work.

Many kidney diseases can lead to kidney failure and the need for transplant.

How does the transplant process work?

One way that Seattle Children's supports your child and family through this challenging time is by helping you understand as much as possible about the transplant process. Learn what to expect if your child needs a kidney transplant.

How long does a child stay on dialysis?

Your child will remain on dialysis until they have a transplant. Some children may require dialysis after transplant, until the new kidney is fully working.

During this time our dietitians, transplant nurses, social workers and pharmacists will teach your family about your child's new diet, medicines and many other aspects of transplant care.