Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is among the country’s top pediatric centers for kidney transplants. We’re home to one of the most established, longest-running pediatric kidney transplant programs. Our robust care team includes kidney doctors (nephrologists), transplant surgeons, transplant coordinators, dietitians, social workers and more. The skill and dedication of these experts sets our program apart.

Since 1967, we’ve successfully performed thousands of lifesaving kidney transplants for children. We help your child live life to the fullest.

Kidney Transplant Program: Why Choose Us

Our program provides care for a large number of children who need kidney transplants. We’re also among a select few children’s hospitals nationwide with the expertise to perform adult-to-child living donor kidney transplants. Your child benefits from our transplant expertise and exceptional outcomes.

When your family comes to CHLA, your child benefits from:

  • Proven success in kidney transplants: Our success rates for pediatric kidney transplants are consistently high. Our one-year and three-year kidney transplant patient survival rates are above the national average.
  • Coordinated care: Your child receives individualized care from a team of specialists. These experts work together to create a treatment plan based on your child’s unique needs. Your child gets the best of both worlds: the expertise of a large program combined with the personalized care of a small one.
  • Living donor kidney transplants: We performed our first living donor kidney transplant between a father and son in 1967. It was such a success that the transplanted kidney worked for more than 50 years. Experts believe it was one of the longest functioning living donor kidney transplants in U.S. history. Our living donor kidney transplant team has continued to build on this success.
  • Experts in organ matching: Specialists in our human leucocyte antigen (HLA) lab help identify the best organ match for your child. A compatible match improves the chances of a successful and longer lasting transplant. We’re continuously searching for and incorporating new, proven methods to select compatible organs for children who have a higher-than-usual risk of organ rejection.
  • Advanced care for complex kidney diseases: Our kidney team specializes in all types of common and complex kidney conditions. We offer advanced care for the smallest, sickest children who have difficult-to-treat kidney diseases. Other hospitals send children to us for our expertise in managing complex cases. Learn more about the kidney conditions we treat.
  • Kidney transplant care for all children: We successfully perform kidney transplants on the smallest and most medically fragile children. Your child may receive ongoing transplant care through young adulthood. Find out more about our kidney transplant patient and family resources.

Does My Child Need a Kidney Transplant?

Your child may need a kidney transplant if they have chronic kidney disease or develop kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Your child’s kidneys filter waste products from their blood, maintain healthy fluid levels and control blood pressure. The kidneys are also important for building strong bones and making hormones that help produce red blood cells.

When your child has kidney damage, wastes and fluids can build up in their body, causing life-threatening problems. A treatment called dialysis can do some of the work of the kidneys. But the treatment takes a long time, may have complications and can affect your child’s ability to fully enjoy life. A kidney transplant can help your child avoid or stop dialysis, so they may lead a more typical and longer life. Our kidney experts provide your child with top medical care until a kidney transplant takes place.

Learn more about different types of pediatric kidney transplants.

Kidney Transplant Programs and Services

Our specialized programs, clinics and services bring together leading experts to treat your child. These specialists work as a team to manage your child’s kidney condition. Team members may include pediatric transplant nephrologists (kidney specialists), pediatric transplant surgeons, urologists, nurses, dietitians, social workers and other specialists. We keep your child as healthy as possible until a kidney transplant takes place.

At CHLA, we’ve streamlined our services to make it easier for your family. You can see all the care team members your child needs during one visit. Your child may receive one or more of our dedicated pediatric kidney services.

Nephrology Clinic

Children with kidney conditions receive ongoing, personalized care at our Nephrology Clinic. Part of our nationally ranked Nephrology services, the clinic manages your child’s overall health with a focus on kidney care. Children who need kidney transplants receive care at both our Nephrology Clinic and our Kidney Transplant Clinic.

Kidney Transplant Clinic

After your child receives a transplant, they get ongoing follow-up care in the Kidney Transplant Clinic. The multidisciplinary clinic team monitors your child’s health and helps them adapt to life with a transplanted organ. Our transplant nurse coordinators support your family throughout your time at CHLA.

The transition to adult care can be challenging. Our clinic offers a special program for older teenage patients who are working or attending college. The program helps prepare them for this transition while they continue to receive care without missing classes or work.

Pediatric dialysis services

CHLA is a pioneer in pediatric dialysis. This treatment does the work of your child’s kidneys until they get a transplant.

We’ve been providing comprehensive outpatient pediatric dialysis services since 1967. This is the same year we performed our first lifesaving pediatric kidney transplant. Today, ours is among the largest pediatric dialysis services in the country. Treating so many children means our team is more experienced.

Our pediatric dialysis services include:

  • Neonatal dialysis for infants: We have the technology and expertise to perform a type of dialysis called continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). This treatment helps children of all ages, including infants who weigh as little as 5 pounds. CRRT for infants takes place in our Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU).
  • At-home dialysis education: Your child may have the option to get dialysis at home (peritoneal dialysis). Our skilled dialysis nurses teach you how to perform this type of dialysis. We ensure that you feel confident caring for your child.
  • Around-the-clock support: A member of our pediatric dialysis team is available 24/7 to respond to your questions and concerns.
  • Education services: Our school for patients helps your child stay current on their schoolwork while they receive hemodialysis at our outpatient unit.

Learn more about dialysis and kidney failure treatments.

Innovative Research and Clinical Trials

CHLA doctors and clinician-scientists are active in kidney transplant research. At The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, our researchers are seeking new ways to personalize post-transplant medications based on each child’s unique risk of organ rejection.

We’re also active in clinical trials related to pediatric kidney disease, kidney failure and kidney transplants. Children who receive kidney care at CHLA may be able to try promising new therapies that aren’t widely available.

Multidisciplinary Kidney Care Team

Your child receives coordinated, comprehensive care from experts in various medical specialties. Your child’s care team may include:

  • Kidney disease experts (nephrologists) and transplant nephrologists
  • Transplant surgeons
  • Urologists
  • Infectious disease specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses and transplant nurse coordinators
  • Transplant pharmacists
  • Registered dietitians
  • Social workers
  • Child Life specialists

Meet our kidney transplant team.

Nationally Recognized Kidney Care

U.S. News & World Report rates CHLA’s pediatric Nephrology services among the best in the country for children with kidney problems. Our kidney experts partner with specialists in our top-rated Urology division to provide complete care for children who need kidney transplants.

U.S. News & World Report also ranks CHLA among the country’s top children’s hospitals and the best in California. You can trust your child’s care to us.

Kidney Transplant Care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

We use advanced tests to evaluate your child and perform all types of pediatric kidney transplants. Learn more about kidney transplant diagnosis and treatments.

Contact us

The Kidney Transplant Program at CHLA welcomes new patients, referrals and second opinions. Please contact us to make an appointment.