Organ Transplants for Children

Organ Transplants for Children

When conditions affecting your child’s kidneys, liver or pancreas become life-threatening, your child’s doctors may recommend a transplant to replace the malfunctioning organ and provide the opportunity for a healthy life.

Organ Transplant Services for Children Close to Home

To achieve the best organ transplant outcomes for your child, choose the comprehensive care delivered by an academic medical center connected to a leading transplant center with a dedicated pediatric transplant program – exactly what you’ll find at OU Health Transplant Center in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma’s Largest & Most Experienced Transplant Team

Through an integrated, multidisciplinary approach that involves you and your child with Oklahoma’s largest and most experienced transplant team, you’ll work with OU Health transplant specialists, surgeons, researchers and scientists who apply the latest research findings and transplant techniques, including robotic-assisted surgical procedures, to meet your child’s specific needs.

Pre-Transplant Coordinator & Dedicated Surgeon

You’ll also appreciate the assistance of a pre-transplant coordinator who sets up appointments and keeps you informed about all tests and meetings, while the OU Health dedicated organ procurement surgeon and other team members make sure the transfer process functions smoothly and efficiently for optimal results.

Living Donor Program at OU Health

You or someone you know can give the gift of health through an organ donation for a child or adult in need. Learn how to take part in the OU Health Living Donor Program. As a living donor, you may qualify for kidney removal through a minimally invasive, robotic-assisted procedure that often results in a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery.

UNOS-Certified Pediatric Transplant

Expert care for your child’s liver or kidney transplant comes through Oklahoma’s only United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)- certified pediatric liver and kidney program. You’ll find the region’s top experienced transplantation experts at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health in Oklahoma City, where physicians have performed pediatric kidney transplants for decades, including more than 50 procedures since 2012.

Kidney Transplant

For most procedures, your child’s kidney transplant organ comes from a living donor, typically a family member or suitable match. Transplanting two kidneys at the same time requires a deceased donor. When transplanting a new kidney, your child’s surgeon may leave the damaged kidney in place and transplant the new one in the lower abdomen.

Your child’s OU Health kidney transplantation team includes specialists in nephrology, intensive care, immunology and infectious disease working together to improve your child’s health.

Kidney Diseases, Disorders and Common Symptoms

Not every kidney disease needs a transplant. Learn about kidney transplantation in children and common kidney disorders and symptoms.

Kidney Diseases and Disorders

Possible Symptoms of Kidney Disease or Disorder

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent headaches
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Itchiness all over the body
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps or pain in small of back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Puffiness around eyes
  • Skin darkening
  • Swelling of hands and feet

Liver Transplant

Whether your child needs transplantation for a small portion of the liver or the total organ, the liver’s ability to return to normal function within weeks of the procedure helps your child return to living a healthy life. A donor organ for your child may come from family members or other living suitable matches or from a deceased donor.

Your child’s OU Health liver transplant specialists belong to a surgical team with the deepest experience in liver transplants in Oklahoma. To ensure a full recovery, your child receives extensive follow-up care, including post-operative clinic visits scheduled by their transplant coordinator.

Liver Diseases, Disorders and Common Symptoms

Not every liver disease needs a transplant. Learn about liver transplant for children and common liver disorders and symptoms.

Diseases and Disorders of the Liver

Possible Symptoms of Liver Diseases or Disorders

Pancreas Transplant

Severe complications from Type 1 diabetes may mean your child needs a pancreas transplant. All pancreas transplant organs come from deceased donors. If your child’s condition relates to kidney failure, transplant of pancreas and kidney may happen at the same time.

Your child’s OU Health pancreas transplant team evaluates their condition through a comprehensive assessment that includes input from their dialysis center, primary physician or kidney specialist.

Not every pancreas disease needs a transplant. Learn about pancreas transplantation and common pancreatic disorders and symptoms.

Resources for Transplant Recipients & Donors

Comfort for you and your child during the transplant process remains the primary focus of your OU Health Transplant Center team. Review the organ transplant Welcome Booklet [pdf] or download necessary forms. Check the resources below to learn more about organ transplants, get information about support groups and find out about organ donor registration.

Nearby Transplant Support Group for You & Your Child

As a pre- or post-transplant recipient, donor, family member or caregiver, you can get helpful information from a guest speaker at each support group session and meet others who share your situation.

Organs for Life Transplant Support Group

  • When – First Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m.
  • Where – Samis Family Education Center, Basement Level, Room B3, next to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, 1200 Children's Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
  • Contact –, (405) 458-0899

Your Expert Pediatric Organ Transplant Team

When you choose the organ transplant team at OU Health Transplant Center, your child receives care from Oklahoma’s transplant pioneers who use a multidisciplinary approach and evidence-based techniques with proven advanced technology, including access to clinical trials.

Your child’s experienced organ transplant team understands the anxiety and stress of waiting for an organ — so you and your family receive their complete support before, during and after your transplant procedure.

Watch Laney’s Story: Learn how the OU Health Transplant Center team worked with experts at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital and Stephenson Cancer Center to help Laney.

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