Kidney failure in children

Kidney failure in children can happen suddenly or over time. In either case, turn to our pediatric nephrology specialists for help. We have the largest children's kidney care program in West Michigan and have been nationally-recognized for treating kidney disease at all stages. We offer dialysis and perform kidney transplants for children or teenagers who need them. We can guide your family's journey, too.

Kidney failure means the kidneys slow down or stop properly filtering wastes from the body. Waste products and toxic substances can then build up in the blood. Dialysis can serve as a filter in place of the kidneys when kidney failure reaches end stage. For some individuals, a transplant may be needed.

Find a Pediatric Nephrologist

Our experienced pediatric doctors and specialists are ready to serve you and your family.

Treatment options

Treating children with kidney failure is a team effort between your family, your child and your specialized care team. Our doctors are exceptional at what they do and will work towards the long-term good health of your child, while slowing the decline of kidney function. As you consider your child’s options, know that we specialize in both types of blood-filtering methods: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

If your child's kidney disease progresses to the point of needing a kidney transplant, our skilled transplant team are your champions and expert resources whenever you need us. Thanks to our pioneering research, steroids are no longer necessary post-surgery to maintain the body's acceptance of the new kidney.

Kidney transplant
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When your child has a kidney transplant, the surgeon replaces a non-functioning kidney with a healthy kidney. Lifelong medical care is always needed following a transplant.

Peritoneal dialysis
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Peritoneal dialysis is more convenient than hemodialysis. It uses the body's peritoneal membrane to filter the blood continuously from home, during the day or at night.

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Hemodialysis uses a machine to filter waste and extra fluid from the blood. The procedure is usually done in a dialysis center, three or more times a week. Peritoneal dialysis is more commonly used for children.

Post-transplant medicine
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After transplant surgery, immunosuppressant medicine is needed to prevent infection and reduce the chance of your child's body rejecting the new kidney.

Schedule Follow-ups in MyChart

Schedule your child’s follow-up appointment at our Grand Rapids clinic through your MyChart account.