Preparing for a Kidney Transplant

The Kidney Transplant Program at Cincinnati Children’s strives to optimize the quality of life of children suffering from kidney diseases. Our goal is to assist you in understanding the care and issues surrounding kidney disease and the steps involved in kidney transplantation.

Our staff believes the best results occur when families work together with the healthcare team. Understanding your child’s condition and treatment options is an important first step.

In cooperation with surgical subspecialists, the Nephrology and Hypertension Division at Cincinnati Children’s is deeply committed to a comprehensive post-transplant patient care program. The program started in 1965.

Jack's Story

Study Predicts Outcomes for Kidney Transplant Patients

A study in the American Journal of Transplantation cites evidence in favor of using the protein biomarkers NGAL and IL-18 as a means to determine whether kidney transplant patients will require dialysis within the first week of transplant surgery.

Finding a Kidney for Transplant

Transplant kidneys can come from two sources − a living donor or a deceased donor. A living donor must be at least 18 years old and is usually a patient’s relative, such as:

  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Aunt
  • Uncle

In some cases, living donors with other ties to the patient may be considered, such as a step-parent, an adoptive parent or a family friend. They will undergo extensive testing to make sure that they are healthy and do not appear to be at risk of future kidney problems themselves.

If no living donor is available, the patient can be placed on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney. This happens when someone has died whose family has agreed to donate their organs for transplantation. When a deceased donor who is a match for the waiting patient is identified, the patient is contacted to come to the hospital for the transplant surgery.  The waiting time on the list can be long, from months to years.

United Network for Organ Sharing

Learn about how United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) helps unite the transplant community to save lives through organ transplantation. Read More

Related Resources

Online Tool for Families


Cincinnati Children’s offers a secure online tool to help you manage your child’s health.  MyChart gives you access to your child’s medical record, allowing you to view test results, a list of medications, appointments, follow-up instructions, diagnoses and more. And you can send a message to your healthcare team between visits.

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