Pediatric Transplant Center

Welcome to the Pediatric Transplant Center

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Our center is one of the most advanced pediatric transplant centers in the nation, distinguished by a combination of program breadth, clinical depth and multidisciplinary approach.

We do what’s possible to avoid a transplant

Our team is at the forefront of treatments and technologies that enable many children to avoid a transplant or to extend the time before needing one.

From a novel bowel-lengthening procedure to one of today’s most advanced ventricular assist devices (supporting blood circulation), we’ve got the means and experience to keep pre-transplant kids away from the operating room longer.

Popular Pediatric Transplant Center destinations

Our physicians, nurses and a staff of specialized supporting clinicians work together to give your child the best possible care.  Each program is supported by a full-service laboratory and radiology services.

Our transplant teams have access to every medical and surgical specialty in the hospital for consultations.

Programs within the Pediatric Transplant Center

Research Programs within the Pediatric Transplant Center

A lifetime of care

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When patients receive an organ transplant, their need for care doesn't end after surgery. In fact, transplant is just the beginning of a life-long medical journey.

No one knows this better than the team at Boston Children's Pediatric Transplant Center. Boston Children's offers a continuity of care that covers all aspects of healthy living for our patients, before and AFTER transplant. Services include:

  • Pre-and post-transplant care, coordinated by pediatric experts specializing in the specific organ that was transplanted.
  •  Access to a multidisciplinary team including specialists in transplant infectious diseases, nurse coordinators, transplant pharmacists, research coordinators, dieticians, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers.
  • Expert knowledge in the unique emotional and physical needs of infant, young and adolescent patients.

At Boston Children's you can rest assured knowing that our multidisciplinary team of pediatric experts, in conjunction with world-class transplant surgeons and innovative researchers, are available to manage every aspect of your child's health, before and after transplant.

Our collaborative approach

Boston Children's first transplant program began in 1971. Since then our specialists have been dedicated to two goals:

  • Providing the most effective and family-centered transplant care to kids
  • Pushing the boundaries of knowledge and innovation for all phases of transplant care

Our collaborative approach to accomplishing these goals became formal in 2006, when Boston Children’s heartlungliverintestinekidney and stem cell programs unified to form the Pediatric Transplant Center.

This centralized approach continues to benefit families and clinicians. Families are assured that Boston Children’s is using all of its resources to care for their children. Specialists use this infrastructure to streamline quality improvement initiatives.

Teamwork is one key to our success. The second is determination to avoid a transplant whenever possible.

When necessary, transplantation is a powerful and life-enhancing treatment. Thanks in part to research led by the Pediatric Transplant Center specialists, outcomes and immunosuppression have advanced greatly in the last decade.

But it has its drawbacks: the wait for a suitable organ, pre-transplant regimens, the risks associated with the transplant operation and the lifelong need to prevent rejection and avoid infection. For these reasons our clinicians will do everything in their power to help your child avoid, or delay, transplant.

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Patient stories

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Innovative treatment helps patient with kidney failure

Sarah Pastore was born with bright blue eyes, a beautiful smile and a single, failing kidney. She fared well in her first few months, but by the time she approached her first birthday it was clear a kidney transplant was needed.

But thanks to a new and innovative medical treatment by William Harmon, MD, chief of Nephrology at Boston Children’s Hospital, Sarah will grow up needing fewer anti-rejection medications than most transplant patients. Read Sarah's story.

Jack's battle with HLHS

Jack was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a congenital heart defect where the left half of his heart didn't develop normally when he was in the womb. At just two days old he began showing symptoms and was rushed to Boston Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

When it became clear that Jack's only hope for survival was heart transplant, his mother says she was glad he was in the care of Boston Children's Pediatric Transplant Center. Read Jack's story. 

Delaying Transplant Surgery

A blocked urethra caused reflux in Andrew's bladder and kidney, damaging it so badly that a transplant would eventually be needed. But the team at the Pediatric Transplant Center was able to delay Andrew's transplant until he was older, making treatment much easier on him and his family. Read Andrew's story.

Alannah's multivisceral transplant

In the fall of 2007 the lives of Alannah and her grandmother, Debi, changed in a way that not many can imagine: Alannah was diagnosed with a rare and incurable tumor. Alannah was only 5 at the time and treatment options were few, but they were willing to try them all—surgery, chemotherapy, trial drugs—anything to save her. The road to recovery took them to Boston Children's Hospital, where a team led by Heung Bae Kim, MD, director of Children’s Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC), removed Alannah’s tumor and replaced the six organs that had been damaged by its presence. Read their full story here.

Caitlin's new liver

When Shawnna was pregnant with Caitlin, she was confident she knew what to expect. After all, this was her third pregnancy, what surprises could there be? But just hours after birth, routine blood work showed that Caitlin's blood platelets were very low and her liver was barely functioning. Caitlin was only a few hours old but she had already started to turn yellow from jaundice. It was serious so the doctors wasted no time in rushing her to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Read more about Caitlin, and her eventual liver transplant, here.

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Research

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Our Transplantation Research Center creates an environment for scientists and physicians to collaborate in all matters related to transplantation and immunology.

The Transplantation Research Center is intended to share new knowledge, and to speed results gained from research into innovative and improved approaches to caring for kids who need transplant.


Rima Fawaz, MD, Medical Director of the Intestine & Multivisceral Transplant Program, listens to the heart of a delighted patient.

As the science of transplantation has gotten better, the patients whose lives are saved by other people’s organs are living longer and longer. But it comes at a price—a lifetime of immunosuppressive drugs. 

William Harmon, chief of Nephrology at Boston Children’s Hospital, is trying to change that with an innovative new therapy approach that could reduce, possibly even eliminate, the need for young kidney transplant patients.

Read the full story.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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