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FAQ | Overview

Find answers to questions most often asked about transplants.

Who is part of the transplant team?

Our team includes transplant physicians, transplant surgeons, infectious disease specialists, transplant coordinator, transplant pharmacists, child life specialists, dietitians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and financial coordinators. Their combined knowledge provides a fully comprehensive approach to treatment that is equipped to handle all transplant cases and any complications that may arise.

Learn about each of our teams:

How do I prepare for my child’s transplant?

While you are waiting, the goal is to ensure optimal health and preserve the best quality of life possible. Before the transplant happens, you should begin to make plans for your family and child's needs following surgery. This can include planning transportation to clinic visits, assistance at home, and financial support. The transplant team will support you during this waiting period and will provide you with all the information and resources you need.

How long will my child wait for a transplant?

Once your child has been added to the national organ transplant waiting list, an organ may be available immediately or it may take months. Several factors impact how long the wait may be, including how well your child matches with the donor, your child’s condition and how many donors are available in your area compared to the number of patients waiting.

What happens when the donor organ becomes available?

A donor organ may become available any time day or night. We will call you to come to the hospital once we have been notified. Timing is critical, so you need to arrive as soon as possible. We often need to have your child ready to go into the operating room within one to two hours of your arrival at Boston Children's.

How do my child and I plan our stay?

Our team will work closely with your family when planning your hospital stay. Those who live further than a few hours from the hospital may need to relocate to the Boston area once your child is listed for transplant and for a period of time post-transplant. Families often must decide whether to relocate part of the family or the entire family.

Your team will go over the various options, assist with researching transportation and housing, and provide the necessary support.

How long will my child be in the hospital?

The length of stay in the hospital depends on the type of transplant, the health of your child, and the complexity of the case. Your child will be seen daily by the transplant team to monitor progress, and we'll work with you to develop a discharge plan.

Will my child’s new organ last for his or her lifetime?

The life expectancy of a transplanted organ varies, but pediatric transplant recipients are likely to require re-transplantation at some point in the future — which could be when they are adults. At your routine visits, we monitor the health and function of your child’s new organ to ensure it is doing its job, and we develop a plan to address potential issues.