Pediatric kidney health at Dell Children's
Pediatric nephrologists at Dell Children’s Medical Center have the expertise to diagnose, manage and treat kidney diseases in infants and children with complex kidney diseases. At Dell Children’s, we provide the advanced care your child needs right here in Central Texas – from dialysis and long-term therapeutic treatments to surgery. We also provide diagnosis and treatment of prenatal kidney conditions, such as hydronephrosis.
Your child’s doctor starts by listening to you and your child, and answering your questions. Your child’s doctor may recommend diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, urine tests or imaging. By understanding your child’s symptoms and through testing, we can make a diagnosis and create a care plan that’s right for your child.
Conditions we diagnose and treat
Pediatric nephrologists at Dell Children’s specialize in care for congenital (present at birth) and acquired kidney conditions, including:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Congenital abnormalities of the kidneys
- Glomerulonephritis (inflammation in the kidneys)
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney due to a backup of urine)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Fluid and electrolyte disorders Kidney failure (end-stage renal disease)
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Lupus Nephrotic syndrome (when the kidneys release too much protein into the urine)
- Proteinuria (high levels of protein in the urine)
Advanced care for pediatric kidney conditions
When your child has a kidney condition, you're in the right place with doctors who provide some of the most advanced treatments, including:
- Medication management
- At-home blood pressure monitoring
- Surgical care
- Therapeutic apheresis (plasma exchange)
If your child’s kidney disease is related to another condition, we work with other pediatric specialists at Dell Children’s, such as urologists, neurologists, cardiologists, intensive care specialists, dietitians, rheumatologists and more. By collaborating as a multidisciplinary team, we deliver comprehensive care for children with even the most complex conditions. Social workers are also part of our care team to provide care and support for your child and family.
Connecting your child to pediatric dialysis care
Dialysis may be part of your child’s care plan. When your child has a chronic kidney condition or kidney injury, their kidneys do not filter blood the way they should. Dialysis is a treatment that helps do the job of the kidneys. It can help support your child until their kidney function improves or until they have a kidney transplant.
Children experiencing kidney failure usually need dialysis three or more times per week. Specially trained pediatric nurses deliver treatment and help make your child comfortable while receiving care. The dialysis center connected to Dell Children's Specialty Care Center provides the two main types of dialysis in a pediatric-only setting.
- Hemodialysis: With this type of dialysis, blood is pumped out the body and through a dialysis machine. Inside the machine, it passes through an “artificial kidney” filter that removes waste, such as urea, creatinine, potassium and extra fluid. Hemodialysis is usually done three times a week for about 4-5 hours.
- Peritoneal dialysis: With this type of dialysis, a cleansing fluid is inserted into the abdomen through a small tube. The abdomen lining acts as the filter and removes waste from the blood. Then, the fluid with the waste flows out of the abdomen through the tube.
At Dell Children’s Medical Center, we provide 24/7 advanced kidney support for children who are critically sick or injured.
- Continuous kidney replacement therapy (CKRT): For children in the hospital who need continuous dialysis, we provide 24/7 hemodialysis.
- Therapeutic apheresis and dialysis through extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): We work with specialists in the NICU, PICU and CICU to provide therapeutic apheresis and dialysis for children who are also on ECMO.
Pediatric hypertension care
Experienced pediatric nephrologists diagnose and to treat high blood pressure, alongside multidisciplinary care teams at Dell Children’s to help manage your child’s blood pressure with a personalized treatment plan and ongoing care. Symptoms of high blood pressure in children may include headaches, visual changes, dizziness, frequent nosebleeds, heart palpitations and nausea. Sometimes, children do not have any symptoms. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to damage in the heart, kidneys and eyes.
Pediatric nephrologists at Dell Children’s have advanced knowledge about hypertension in children and help manage your child’s condition, using the right medication. Your child’s care team also includes a dietitian to help your child and family better understand healthy food choices.
If your child’s high blood pressure is caused by another health condition, such as a hormone imbalance or vascular condition, other pediatric specialists at Dell Children’s become part of your child’s care team. Our goals are to manage your child’s blood pressure, find and help address the cause, when possible, and help prevent more complications.
Care for complex kidney and urinary tract conditions
Nephrologists and urologists at Dell Children’s Medical Center work closely together to deliver advanced care for children with congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract. As a team, we look at labs and imaging, such as blood tests, urine tests and ultrasounds. Then, we make a diagnosis and collaborate on a care plan personalized for your child, delivering comprehensive care for complex conditions. Dialysis may be part of your child’s care plan. Get the advanced dialysis support your child needs at Dell Children’s. When your child has a chronic kidney condition or kidney injury, their kidneys do not filter blood the way they should. Dialysis is a treatment that helps do the job of the kidneys. And it can help your child’s kidneys function until they recover or have a kidney transplant.