Since 2005, pediatric kidney transplant services have been provided within CHKD Health System at our main hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. CHKD’s kidney transplant program is the regional pediatric referral center for southeastern Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. Transplantation services are delivered in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. To offer patients more efficient and convenient lab testing, appointments and tests are available at CHKD locations throughout the community. Transplant evaluation, waitlist, and recent post-transplant visits occur in the CHKD Kidney Center (nephrology clinic) at our main hospital.

Dedicated Kidney Center with Expertise in Treating Children with Chronic Kidney Disease

We’re focused on providing specialized and comprehensive care to children, adolescents, and young adults with end-stage kidney disease.

The conditions leading to transplant in children are typically different than those leading to transplant in adults. CHKD brings pediatric expertise to the care of those with congenital and acquired kidney diseases. Our multidisciplinary team works together to provide a patient and family-centered approach which meets a child’s needs from infancy to young adulthood.

Transplant Team Members

Led by transplant surgical director Duncan Yoder, MD and transplant surgeon Amber Carrier, MD, our team includes the foloowing specialists from throughout the hospital:

  • Transplant pediatric nephrologists 
  • Transplant surgeons 
  • Pediatric urologists 
  • Transplant coordinators 
  • Social workers 
  • Registered dietitians 
  • Nephrology clinic nurses 
  • Pediatric renal dialysis nurses 
  • Transplant pharmacist
  • Financial coordinators 
  • Child life specialists 

Kidney Transplant Treatment and Options

CHKD’s pediatric kidney transplant program provides a variety of options for transplantation. For example, transplanting adult-sized kidneys into infants and children, directed living donations, paired-exchange kidney transplant, advanced-living donations, and deceased-donor transplantation.

Deceased Donation

After a patient is found to be a suitable transplant candidate, their medical information is sent to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for placement on the national kidney transplant waiting list. The waiting period for a deceased-donor kidney can take several days, weeks, months, or years.

Living Donation

The CHKD kidney transplant team encourages living donor transplantation whenever possible. A kidney transplanted from a living donor offers distinct advantages compared to that of a deceased donor. There is a shorter wait time for the recipient, faster recovery with most living-donor kidneys functioning immediately, and there is also evidence that living donor kidneys last longer.

Since June 2011, living kidney donor services have been provided by Sentara Norfolk General Hospital to better serve the unique needs of adult living-donor patients. Sentara's living-kidney donor program supports the full evaluation, recovery, and follow-up for living donors of the pediatric kidney transplant program at CHKD. Sentara is also located on the Eastern Virginia Medical Center campus and is physically connected to CHKD, which allows living donors to visit with their pediatric recipient during their hospital stay.

For incompatible living donor-recipient pairs, CHKD and Sentara participate in the National Kidney Registry (NKR), a program that matches incompatible donor-recipient pairs through a nationwide pool. The program allows a recipient who has a willing donor that may not be an appropriate match or is living elsewhere in the United States to swap with another recipient-donor pair. 

Dedicated Pediatric Renal Dialysis Unit

The majority of children who come to our hospital for kidney transplants do so while receiving dialysis. In the pediatric dialysis unit at CHKD, our team works closely with patients and family members to ensure that children with kidney failure receive the best medical attention possible.

Referring Patients

Physicians may refer patients to our pediatric nephrology department by calling (757) 668-7244. Medical records can be faxed to (757) 668-9814.

Additional Web Resources

 Online Resources

American Organ Transplant Association (AOTA)
The American Organ Transplant Association helps make organ transplant surgery, travel, and aftercare available to patients and their families.

American Society of Transplantation (AST)
AST is an organization of transplant professionals dedicated to research, education, advocacy, and patient care in transplantation science and medicine.

Children's Organ Transplant Association
COTA exists to assist patients who require a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support.

Donate Life America
This is a not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the U.S. committed to increasing organ, eye, and tissue donation.

LifeNet Health
LifeNet Health is the organ and tissue procurement organization (OPO) serving Virginia and part of West Virginia.

National Foundation for Transplants (NFT)
The National Foundation for Transplants provides fundraising assistance to patients for the portion of transplant costs not covered by insurance.

National Kidney Registry (NKR)
The National Kidney Registry is a nonprofit organization working with top transplant hospitals across the United States to facilitate living donor kidney transplant exchanges.

Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)
SRTR supports the transplant community with analyses to better patient results and experience.

Transplant Recipients International Organization
The Transplant Recipients International Organization offers transplant and donation information and resources.TRIO is committed to improving the quality of life of transplant candidates, recipients, their families, and the families of organ and tissue donors.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Donation Initiative
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Donation Initiative provides information about organ donation.

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
UNOS is a private, nonprofit organization managing the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.