Kidney Transplant
What to Expect

What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Kidney Transplant Program

If your child is experiencing kidney problems, they have likely been seeing a pediatric nephrologist. Our program is the next step—an evaluation to determine whether your child would be a good candidate for a kidney transplant. A transplant evaluation is very different from a nephrology visit. Our main focus is simply to gather information.

We want to make sure you understand everything we talk about, so please don’t hesitate to ask us questions and share your concerns.

Making an Appointment at the Kidney Transplant Program

We want it to be easy for you to get the care your child needs. You can call us to self-refer to our program, or your child’s nephrologist or another provider can refer you. First our team will review your child’s chart. Then we’ll have discussions with both you and your child’s primary caregiver to make sure everyone agrees with you pursuing an evaluation or second opinion.

Before Your Appointment

Transplant referrals are sent to our financial coordinator. Once we receive insurance approval to proceed with the evaluation, we will call you to schedule the appointment.

Your child will be assigned to a transplant coordinator, who will contact you to review the information we need and answer any questions you have might have.

On the Day of Your Visit to the Kidney Transplant Program

Arriving At Your Appointment

Kidney transplant evaluations take place at our Burnet Campus.

Follow-up visits are available at our Burnet Campus, Liberty Campus and our Mason Campus.

Please arrive about 30 minutes ahead of your appointment time. This allows you 15 minutes to park and walk from the parking garage to our clinic, and 15 minutes to check in at our front desk. If you are running late, please call us.

At Your Appointment

The length of your visit depends on your child and their needs. Evaluations typically last at least two days. We can help you find overnight accommodation if you are traveling to Cincinnati for your evaluation.

Have your child wear loose, comfortable clothing, as they will undergo many different tests. They also will see a number of specialists and staff members, including a transplant nephrologist, surgeon, infectious disease specialist, psychologist, dietitian, transplant coordinator and living donor coordinator.

You and your child may feel overwhelmed by the number of people you’re meeting and the amount of information you’re receiving—that’s OK. We encourage you to ask questions throughout the visit. We will write everything down, so you don’t have to remember it.

You are welcome to bring along toys or snacks to entertain your child.

After Your Visit to the Kidney Transplant Program

You will receive an “After Visit Summary” at the end of your appointment. It will include important details about next steps and any upcoming appointments. It also will include contact information for your child’s care team.

After we meet with you and your child, a multidisciplinary team will review all the information we receive and decide if your child is a candidate for kidney transplant. Approximately two weeks after your evaluation, we will be in contact to let you know if your child has been approved to be placed on the kidney transplant wait list.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at Cincinnati Children’s provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Donated kidneys can come from a living donor or a deceased donor. Learn more.

Yes, a kidney from a living donor often has advantages over a cadaver kidney. First, recipients don’t have to wait until a kidney becomes available. Living donation allows the operation to be scheduled at a convenient time. Kidneys from family members are also more likely to be good matches, although there is no guarantee. And kidneys from living donors don’t need to be transported from one site to another, so the kidney is in better condition when it is transplanted.

Patients are followed on an outpatient basis at least two times a week after they are discharged from the hospital. The time they are required to remain near Cincinnati Children’s will depend on their medical and transplant status, as well as who will be following them once they return home. For out-of-town recipients, post-transplant follow-up details will be coordinated with the family and referring physician before the transplant.


No. Immunosuppressant medications must be taken every day for as long as your child has a working kidney. Taking these medications as directed is the most important step you can take to prevent rejection. Immediately after the transplant, some other medications will be taken for only a few months.