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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Why Choose Us?

Award-Winning Physicians

Our pediatric nephrologists have been recognized as some of the best physicians in the Chicago area. Because of their vast knowledge and many years of experience, they are able to successfully diagnose and treat children with all types of kidney problems.

One of our nephrologists is also board certified in critical care medicine; another is an expert in chronic disease care. So, our nephrologists are able to provide additional expertise that may help children with kidney-related problems.

When necessary, we work closely with other respected University of Chicago specialists, including transplant surgeons and pediatric urologists.

Rapid Availability

We try to respond as quickly as possible to calls from parents, older children, and referring physicians. Rapid availability also applies to diagnostic tests performed here. Because we have our own renal pathologist on staff, we are able to provide parents and referring physicians with very quick results on kidney tests. Other hospitals often have to send tests to outside labs, which can delay results.

Help for Even Complex Cases

Our staff's high level of expertise and skill allow them to take on very sick children who may be considered too difficult to treat at other pediatric hospitals. For example, we commonly dialyze and provide kidney transplants to children with HIV, multiple organ failure, and complex congenital anomalies.

Access to the Latest Approaches

Because our physicians are also researchers, they are on top of the most recent advances in kidney care--and pass these on to our patients as quickly as possible. Children who require immunosuppressant medicines benefit from a long history of research on these agents. University of Chicago researchers helped develop and refine many important immunosuppressant medications, including OK-T3, which was a mainstay immunosuppression drug for more than a decade.

High Transplant Success

Our kidney transplant survival rates are among the highest in the United States. So, too, are our graft acceptance rates. Transplant patients are followed by our pediatric nephrologists from the pre-transplant phase until they are old enough to see an adult nephrologist. The close attention that these children receive helps ensure that they keep their donor kidneys for as long as possible.

Minimizing Treatment Side Effects

Many of our patients have to take immunosuppressant medicines, which can cause weight gain, acne, and other side effects. These drugs can also increase a child's risk of infection. Physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital are experts in the various nuances of immunosuppressive medicines. They prescribe only as much medicine as needed. Children can often take lower doses of these medicines than they used to--as a result, they are suffering fewer medication-related side effects.

A Family-Centered Approach

The family plays a major role in managing a child's kidney disease. Having a child on dialysis or preparing for a kidney transplant can be especially challenging. We provide all of our patients and their families with the education they need to successfully manage their child's health. Plus, our staff is always available by phone to address questions and concerns.

Our advanced practice nurse works exclusively with children who have kidney problems and their families. She has helped hundreds of families through dietary changes, peritoneal dialysis, and other events. As a result, she can often address questions families have before they even have a chance to ask them.

Helping Patients Have a Normal Childhood

We understand the stress and turmoil that kidney disease can cause a child and his or her family. We go to great strides to help our patients "be kids or teens"--despite having a medical condition. One way we do this is by performing pre-emptive kidney transplants--when it's the right thing for the child and a compatible donor kidney is available.

Pre-emptive transplants are performed before children begin dialysis, saving them and their families a lot of stress. Once a child recovers from transplant surgery, they can lead an active life. Some research also links pre-emptive transplants with better graft acceptance rates than transplants performed after dialysis is begun.