Pediatric kidney transplantation is indicated for children with chronic renal failure, a condition causing the kidneys to lose their normal ability to function, i.e. to eliminate toxins from the blood and balance the amount of body fluids adequately. At ISMETT, a multidisciplinary team of pediatricians, surgeons and anesthetists follow the pediatric transplant candidate in all the various stages.
ISMETT has gained significant experience over the past 20 years, performing over 400 kidney transplants of which 50% from living donors. The first pediatric transplant was performed in 2000. In 50% of the cases the kidney was procured from a living donor. The overall survival rate for children, in over 16 years of experience, is 94%, one of the best results in Europe, keeping into account also the high complexity of cases (that include combined liver-kidney transplants).
Pediatric kidney transplants can be performed both from deceased and living donors. The new kidney is placed inside the recipient’s abdomen, near the pelvis, an ideal place for the necessary reconnection of the kidney to the vessels (artery and vein) and bladder. In smaller children, the kidney can be placed higher in the peritoneal cavity for technical reasons. The kidneys of the recipient are generally left in their position, and removed only for special reasons. If there are no morphology and/or function abnormalities in the bladder and urethra, the ureter is directly connected to the bladder and the patient will resume urinating naturally after surgery.
The five-year survival of pediatric kidney transplant recipients aged from 6 to 10 years old, is approximately 98%. Over the last 15 years, great improvements have been made in terms of short- and medium-term outcomes (reduction of rejection episodes and side effects) and most children resume a normal life in the first months after the transplant.