A kidney transplant can offer children who face kidney failure a chance for a healthy life. Our pediatric transplant specialists offer both deceased and living donor kidney transplants for infants, children, and adolescents. In addition to routine cases, we successfully perform kidney transplants in complex cases that other centers have declined. This reflects our expertise and commitment to our young patients. Our goal is to get your child back to their normal routine and the activities they enjoy.

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Better Survival Rates Compared to Other U.S. Centers

Our Locations

Kidney transplant surgery is performed at Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center. Pre- and post-transplant appointments take place at our kidney transplant clinic within Duke Children's.

With You Throughout the Process

Guiding You Every Step of the Way

Your pediatric kidney transplant coordinator -- a nurse with specialized training and experience in pediatric kidney transplant care -- will guide you through the transplant process. They will schedule your child’s evaluation, educate you and your family about kidney transplant, help manage your child’s appointments, coordinate travel arrangements and housing, and much more! They are readily available to answer your questions.

A Team Approach to Care 

Our dedicated pediatric kidney transplant team includes kidney doctors (transplant nephrologists), transplant surgeons, urologists, anesthesiologists, infectious disease experts, nurse coordinators, psychologists, child life specialists, transplant social workers, and dietitians. We also collaborate with other Duke specialists to address all your child’s medical and surgical needs. 

We Are On Call for You 24/7/365

For any transplant-related questions or concerns, a pediatric transplant coordinator is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. In addition, a pediatric kidney transplant doctor is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any needs that arise.

Is Your Child Ready for an Evaluation?

If you want to make an appointment for a pediatric kidney transplant evaluation for your child, please contact us. Our team can help with next steps.

Family-Friendly Services

We understand that your child’s kidney transplant journey is stressful for your entire family. We offer a variety of services to support you, your child, and your family through the process. For instance, our child life program helps your child cope with hospitalization through play, procedure preparation, and opportunities for self-expression. Our Hospital School allows children to continue their academic development and keep up with their studies while undergoing medical treatment. Access to the Ronald McDonald House provides your child and family with a home away from home during the transplant journey.

Transition to Adult Care

If your child is an adolescent, we partner with our adult kidney transplant program to help them make the transition to adult care. Because getting teens to adhere to their medication regimens is a key factor in avoiding teen and young-adult kidney transplant failure, we emphasize, teach, and empower self-care.

Why Choose Duke

Nationally Recognized Pediatric Surgical Care

Duke Children’s is one of a handful U.S. hospitals verified as a Level I children's surgery center by the American College of Surgeons. This Level I designation recognizes our commitment to providing the safest and highest-quality surgical care.

Leaders in Advancing Pediatric Kidney Transplant 

Our transplant doctors are constantly improving not only surgical techniques but also anti-rejection medication regimens. For example, Duke is one of the few pediatric programs nationwide to offer both calcineurin-free and steroid-free anti-rejection medication tailored to your child based on close monitoring, their age, their immune system, and the specifics of their transplant. This option eliminates the long-term side effects associated with steroid and calcineurin inhibitor use and helps the transplanted kidney function longer. 

Living Donor and Paired Donor Exchange

Duke routinely performs living donor transplants in children -- our one-year survival with functioning living donor graft is higher than the national average (100% versus 97.52%). If a potential living kidney donor turns out not to be a match to your child, we offer paired kidney exchange program for our pediatric patients, which allows donors to “swap” recipients so that each child receives a compatible organ.

Incompatible-Blood-Type Transplants

We are one of the few pediatric programs in the region to offer incompatible-blood-type living donor transplants. This makes living kidney donor transplants possible when the blood types of the donor and recipient do not match.

Access to Advanced Therapies

As one of the nation’s leading research centers in pediatrics, transplant medicine, and immunology, we offer access to the most current research innovations. As a patient at Duke, your child may be eligible to participate in ongoing clinical trials specifically relevant to children undergoing kidney transplant.

Experienced in Multi-Organ Transplants

We have significant experience performing multi-organ transplants, including pediatric liver-kidney, lung-kidney, and heart-kidney transplants as well as multivisceral transplants involving liver, intestine, pancreas, and kidney.

Best Children's Hospital in NC

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties.

This page was medically reviewed on 08/10/2023 by