Our pediatric nephrologists, urologists, surgeons and nurse coordinators are pioneers in leading-edge research and care for kidney transplantation. University of Minnesota Health has one of the largest and most experienced kidney transplant programs for children in the world, having performed over 1,000 transplants at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital since the 1970s.
Our transplant team together with University of Minnesota Health is committed to providing the most advanced treatments available — including innovative experience in kidney transplants for complex disorders such as VATER syndrome, congenital nephrotic syndrome and oxalosis. Our team also is experienced in multiple-organ transplants. We are equally dedicated to providing compassionate patient- and family-centered care throughout the transplant process. The transplant program is supported by the Kidney Center at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the care of children and adolescents with ESRD who require dialysis. The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is consistent ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top provider of care for children and adolescents with kidney disease.
More than 8,000 adults and children have received kidney transplants here since our program began in 1963, including 180 in children under the age of two. We also use more living donors than any other program, ensuring that your child receives a kidney sooner than many other programs. Living donors offer the best outcomes, so we are working hard to improve the opportunities for our kidney transplant patients to receive living donor kidneys. In 1979, we became the first hospital in the United States to perform non-directed living donor transplants in which a donor gives a kidney to someone on a waiting list whom he or she does not know. We also have a “paired exchange” program involving two donors and two transplant candidates. The donors “trade” recipients so each recipient receives a donated kidney from someone with the same blood type.
In the early 1970s, we became the first hospital in the United States to develop successful strategies for long-term hemodialysis and kidney transplant in infants and young children. This enabled our physicians to accept sicker children and prepare infants for a safer elective transplant instead of an emergency procedure. After transplant at the university, babies in our program improve quickly in growth, height, weight and brain development. Our program regularly treats international patients who are drawn by our excellent outcomes and reputation.
Our pioneering research has dramatically improved survival rates and post-transplant quality of life. We pride ourselves on performing kidney transplants under difficult circumstances, such as when a child has antibodies that might normally prevent him or her from receiving a kidney.