For the past 15 years, The Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation Program of Saint Barnabas Health Care System has been improving the quality of life for New Jersey’s youngest patients with renal disease, renal dysfunction and hypertension. Started as the first complete pediatric nephrology service in the state, it has established a reputation built on technical excellence, clinical research and advocacy for families whose children suffer from nephrologic and hypertensive disorders.

“When a child’s kidneys are not working, the whole body’s physiology changes,” explains Isabel Roberti, M.D., Director of Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation for the Saint Barnabas Health Care System.  “The digestive system doesn’t function normally, brain development and bone growth are impaired, even taste sensation is affected. The kidney performs many functions, but dialysis can only correct a few of them.”  It requires an interdisciplinary team of pediatric specialists to coordinate the care of children with renal disease and for many of the tiniest patients, transplant is the only good option.

Since 1996, The Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation Program has performed more than 120 kidney transplants in patients between 10 months and 19 years of age with excellent results.  With nearly three quarters of their patients receiving kidneys through living donation – mostly from their parents – the program consistently exceeded national averages for both short-term and long-term graft survival rates and acute rejection rates.

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In addition to transplantation, the Program provides treatment for blood or protein in the urine, inflammatory kidney diseases, urinary tract infections, hypertension, metabolic diseases of kidney origin, kidney stones and a variety of immune-mediated conditions affecting the kidneys, including Lupus. Physicians offer experienced pre-natal counseling for fetal renal anomalies and genetic diseases diagnosed intra-utero.

While it is difficult to predict how pediatric nephrology and transplantation will change in the next ten years, one thing is clear. The Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation Program of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System will continue to bring the highest quality care to patients in need.

Dr. Roberti and the entire pediatric nephrology and transplant team work closely with parents and families throughout the transplant process. “It is not just medical expertise and technology that create success stories in pediatric renal transplantation,” stresses Dr. Roberti. “These children survive because of the love, strength and dedication of their families.”

To learn more about The Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation Program, please visit www.transplantkidney.org or call 973-322-5264.