Pediatric Transplant Program
165 Cambridge Street, Suite 301
Boston, MA 02114
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 am–5:00 pm
Explore This Treatment Program
About the Program
The Pediatric Transplant Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children is a major referral center for organ transplants for children. Our surgeons and transplant teams are at the forefront of pediatric organ transplantation and work to ensure optimal treatment before, during and after transplant. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures the optimal care for our patients and gives them the benefit of more than 40 years of experience in transplantation at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Our program is uniquely equipped to facilitate parent-to-child donation, with adjacent operating space and adult and pediatric operating teams.
As part of the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center, we are also uniquely suited to provide seamless continuity of care from pediatric through adolescent and adult care.
The Mass General Transplant Center offers leading-edge consultative services, treatment and surgical interventions to patients with a broad spectrum of diseases requiring heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, islet, hematopoietic stem cell and multiple organ transplants. The pediatric program currently provides several of these and will be expanding in the future.
An innovator in the transplant field for nearly three decades, the Mass General Transplant Center has developed life-saving techniques that have revolutionized transplant medicine for patients around the globe. Major transplant milestones include:
- World’s first successful tolerance induction in mismatched renal recipients
- World’s first clinical use of a monoclonal antibody used in the prevention and treatment of graft rejection
- First regional lung transplant program for Medicare
- New England’s first live donor lung transplant program
Surgeons at Mass General performed New England’s first successful:
- Pancreas transplant
- Liver transplant
- Small bowel transplant
- Combined liver/heart transplant
Standard-Setting Research and Care
As part of the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, our research focuses on developing new breakthrough treatments and techniques that offer excellent clinical outcomes for patients, including:
- Innovative treatments of immunosuppression, to reduce the likelihood of acute organ rejection
- Novel approaches to avoid immunosuppression through tolerance induction, allowing kidney transplant recipients to live drug-free after their transplantations
- Pioneering and effective approaches to the prevention of infectious disease in transplantation
The quality of our patient care is also enhanced by:
- Our commitment to developing leading-edge technology
- The development of minimally invasive transplantation innovations: The Transplant Center is one of the few in the region to offer transplantation of healthy islet cells into type I diabetes patients who are not candidates for a full pancreas transplant
- Our dedication to identifying and utilizing available organs
At MassGeneral Hospital for Children, we know that the time of your child's diagnosis and treatment is a very stressful one and we strive to provide an open, welcoming environment. We believe that no one knows a child as well as the parent does: parents, along with primary care providers, become our partners in a child's care and have an active voice in all treatment plans.
Living Donor Program
Donating a kidney to another individual is an act of great kindness. Nearly half of the kidneys transplanted at Mass General are given by living donors—family members, friends, co-workers and donors who are unknown to the recipient.
Living donor kidney transplants have several benefits, including:
- Better short and long-term survival rates
- Eliminates the need for placement on a waiting list
- Fewer recipients require temporary dialysis after a living donor transplant compared to a decreased donor transplant
- Recipient knows the donor, his/her lifestyle and medical history
- Shortens the wait time for others on the waiting list
- Transplant surgery can be scheduled at the donor and recipient's convenience
The Process to Become a Donor
Individuals who wish to become living kidney donors undergo a three-part evaluation process, as described below. Our dedicated donor coordinators guide potential donors through each step, keeping them informed of testing and evaluation results. Typically, the recipient's insurance will cover the cost of the evaluation and surgery.
Phase One: Living Donor Health Questionnaire
- Donor evaluation begins with the prospective donor submitting a completed living donor health questionnaire to determine their overall health status and candidacy to donate
- Once a completed living donor health questionnaire is received, the donor will receive a confirmation email with further instructions
Phase Two: Multidisciplinary Team Evaluation (Part 1)
- Candidates come to Mass General for a half-day donor evaluation visit. This visit includes an educational session, a meeting with the donor coordinator, social worker and a nephrologist (a doctor who specializes in kidney care), who reviews the candidate’s medical history and conducts a physical examination
- The physical examination includes blood work, urine tests and an electrocardiogram (EKG)
- After the visit, the donor candidate will complete a 24-hour urine collection and have additional blood tests, which can be completed at a laboratory close to the candidate’s home. Based on the medical history and physical exam, other tests may be necessary and can often be scheduled close to the candidate’s home
Phase Three: Multidisciplinary Team Evaluation (Part 2)
- The donor candidate returns to Mass General for a computed tomography (CT) scan of the kidneys and blood vessels, as well as any other necessary consultations
- This visit includes meeting with the surgeon to discuss the candidate’s ability to donate, as well as the surgical procedure and hospital experience
- The donor candidate also meets with the independent donor advocate, who is a social worker that works with the donor candidate to ensure that his or her best interests are represented and that decisions made are to the benefit of the donor
Once all tests are complete, the donor’s candidacy is reviewed at the Mass General Transplant Center’s multidisciplinary kidney transplant selection meeting. If the donor is approved, donation surgery can be scheduled on a date that is convenient for both the donor and recipient.
Emphasis on Teaching and Research
As a Harvard Medical School teaching institution, we are training the next generations of transplant specialists in all areas of medicine and surgery, bringing fresh perspectives to the care of our patients and improving the care of transplant recipients worldwide. Our unique portfolio of basic and clinical research, education and clinical expertise benefits each patient receiving care at the Transplant Center.
Meet the Team
At MassGeneral Hospital for Children, your child will be cared for by a team of specialists expert in pediatric transplantation, including pioneers in the field. Our multidiscliplinary staff includes transplant surgeons, infectious disease specialists, nephrologists, gastroenterologists/hepatologists, pediatric urologists and surgeons, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, case managers, and nutritionists.