Pediatric Nephrology & Transplantation

Children's Kidney Center
The Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation

Providing comprehensive and compassionate kidney care.

Kidney disease can occur at any age and commonly affects infants, children and adolescents. Living with kidney disease can be overwhelming for both child and family.

The Children's Kidney Center, now located at 101 Old Short Hills Road, Suite 505, West Orange, NJ (across the street from Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston), provides state-of-the-art medical care, which includes advanced diagnostic assessment and testing, and sensitive support for children of all ages and their families.

Started in 1996 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. The Center performs more kidney transplants than any other facility in New Jersey. With nearly three quarters of their patients receiving kidneys through living donation – mostly from their parents – the program consistently exceeds national averages for both short-term and long-term graft survival rates and acute rejection rates.

Physicians offer experienced pre-natal counseling for fetal renal anomalies and genetic diseases diagnosed intra-utero. In addition, the Center provides treatment for the following:

The Center works closely with Saint Barnabas’ Pediatric Urologists when invasive procedures or surgical interventions are required.

What are the kidneys?

Kidneys clean waste materials from the blood, maintain a balance of salt and water in the body, and help regulate blood pressure and red blood cell counts. Kidney disease is the most common cause of high blood pressure in children.

What causes kidneys to fail?

Kidneys may fail due to congenital or hereditary abnormalities, infections, inflammations, drugs and poisons, systemic diseases and hypertension. Sometimes, the cause of kidney disease is unknown. A kidney biopsy can be done to determine the reason and the degree of the kidney disease.

What happens when kidneys fail?

When kidneys fail, the patient may become swollen because the kidneys cannot eliminate excess salt and water. There may be disturbances of other chemicals in the blood which lead to poor appetite, weakness and more serious conditions. Sometimes, dialysis or kidney transplant is needed.

Who is on our team?

Our pediatric nephrologists Isabel Roberti, M.D., Ph.D, and Shefali Vyas, M.D., are board-certified pediatricians with advanced training and expertise in diseases of the kidney affecting infants, children and adolescents. They are also experts in the care of hypertension in children which is often related to kidney problems. The physicians are supported by a professional staff specializing in children. Other team members include a nurse specialist, pediatric renal social worker, pediatric nutritionist and child life specialist.

Can anything be done?

Treatments are available that can often cure kidney disease and prevent failures. These treatments include diet, blood pressure control, medications for the specific kidney disease and possibly, surgery.

There have been tremendous advances in our ability to support kidney failure patients with various forms of dialysis and replacement of the failed kidneys with a kidney transplant. Due to recent advances in the understanding of the immune system and the development of better drugs, the success rate for kidney transplantation is very high. The Children's Kidney Center is one of the nation’s premier kidney transplant programs.

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