Pediatric Kidney Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Pediatric Transplantation

Pediatric Kidney Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Information For Parents From Kids Health

When Your Child Needs a Kidney Transplant

Pediatric transplant at the University of Wisconsin in Madison began in 1967, and since then our pediatric surgical staff has performed more than 380 organ transplants for children. The following is a list of frequently asked questions about pediatric kidney transplant at American Family Children's Hospital and the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin.
 
How long will my child wait?
 
The average waiting time varies according to different blood types and age of the child, although most children receive living donor kidney transplants, those on our waiting list generally have quite short waiting times.
 
Is there a weight restriction?
 
Each patient is evaluated on a case by case basis, but generally children must weigh at least 20 pounds prior to kidney transplantation. However, we would prefer to begin the evaluation process prior to children reaching the minimum weight so that we can ensure adequate growth and time the transplant accordingly.
 
Is there an age limit?
 
While there is no age minimum for children, they do need to have reached a minimum body size to accommodate a kidney transplant.

If I want to donate my kidney or someone I know wants to donate a kidney, what should I do?
 
The first step in becoming a live kidney donor is to have a telephone interview with one of our transplant coordinators. They will discuss the acceptance criteria and the risks. They will then proceed with the work-up process if you qualify.
 
How much will my child's medications cost and does insurance cover the cost?
 
The cost of the medication after transplant can be very costly and you need to check with your insurance company to determine your coverage. After contacting your insurance company, if you still have questions, you may call 608-263-1503 and ask for one of our transplant financial counselors to assist you.
 
How long will my child have to take the medications?
 
Your child will need to take the anti-rejection medications for the duration of the success of their transplanted kidney.
 
Will my insurance cover their transplant? How much?
 
UW Health has contracts with many insurance providers, Medicare and Wisconsin Medicaid. You need to contact your insurance company to find out your coverage for the costs of your child's transplant surgery. After contacting your insurance company, if you still have questions, you may call (608) 263-1503 and ask for one of our transplant financial counselors to assist you.
 
How long will my child's kidney last?
 
Each kidney transplant is different, but the overall success rates of pediatric kidney transplant are very good
 
How do I get an evaluation?
 
You can either call (608) 263-9531 for an appointment or have your primary physician refer you to our center