Pediatric Nephrology Care and Treatment | Loyola Medicine

Pediatric Nephrology

Comprehensive Support for Children with Kidney Problems and Urologic Conditions

The pediatric nephrology team at Loyola Medicine is experienced in helping children and teens with kidney problems and urologic conditions. Your child will be seen by our integrated nephrology team, which includes pediatric urologists, dietitians, pediatricians, nurse practitioners and pediatric subspecialists who provide expert diagnosis, treatment and management of a wide array of conditions.

Loyola’s pediatric nephrology team is experienced in handling a full range of acute and chronic kidney problems, including:

  • Acute and chronic glomerulonephritis
  • Bartter syndrome
  • Bed wetting
  • Blood in urine or pink-colored urine
  • Cystic kidneys and other congenital defects
  • Daytime urine leakage
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • End-stage kidney disease
  • Gitelman syndrome
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • High blood pressure

Why Choose Loyola for Nephrology? 

Loyola is committed to the compassionate diagnosis and care of our youngest patients with kidney problems. Loyola’s pediatric nephrology team is specially trained in the treatment of children and provides care in a compassionate, family-friendly environment. Our clinicians welcome families to be involved in all aspects of diagnosis, treatment and recovery; they are available to answer any questions and address any concerns you might have.

Loyola’s pediatric nephrology team believes in caring for the entire family. We take the time to educate parents and siblings and equip the family to provide care and support at home. Your child’s healthcare team can train a parent or caregiver to provide peritoneal dialysis at home.

Loyola’s pediatric nephrologists treat a wide range of kidney conditions—from minor problems to acute kidney failure, which may be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant, in severe cases. If this is the case, your child’s nephrologist will work closely with Loyola’s kidney transplant program to provide the best treatment options available.

Loyola Center for Dialysis on Roosevelt offers complete dialysis services, support and coordinated care for children and adults, including in-center hemodialysis and home peritoneal dialysis set-up.

How are Nephrology Conditions Diagnosed?

Children with kidney or urinary problems may complain of extreme pain in the abdomen or while urinating, as well as swelling of the hands, feet or face. Children also may experience blood in the urine, foamy urine, itching, extended periods of fatigue and high blood pressure. The goal of Loyola’s pediatric nephrology specialists is to provide a diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan for your child as soon as possible. 

In order to determine and understand the cause of your child’s symptoms, your child’s doctor will start with your child’s medical history and a complete physical exam. Your child’s doctor will be interested in knowing how severe your child’s pain is and how long it has been happening. The doctor may also conduct testing, which may include:

  • Blood pressure checks
  • Blood test to look for abnormal protein levels
  • Imaging tests, including X-ray, ultrasound or a CT scan (computed tomography)
  • Kidney biopsy
  • Serum creatinine blood test
  • Urine test

Most insurance plans require a referral from a primary care physician or pediatrician. Your Loyola nephrologist will keep your child’s pediatrician informed of your child’s diagnosis and treatment plan. When appropriate, your child’s nephrologist will transition care to his or her pediatrician for ongoing follow-up. 

How are Nephrology Conditions Treated?

The kidneys filter waste, toxins and excess fluid from the blood. Common kidney and urinary problems are treated with medications, including prescription antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Renal hypertension, for example, is treated with blood pressure medication. In more serious cases, Loyola’s doctors may recommend kidney dialysis or even a kidney transplant. 

Dialysis treatment can replace many of the kidney’s functions, using a machine to filter waste and excess fluid from your child’s blood. The Loyola Center for Dialysis on Roosevelt is a state-of-the-art center that provides adult and pediatric hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. With 30 stations and one isolation station, the facility offers complete services for patients undergoing dialysis treatments. Learn about kidney dialysis.

In the most severe cases of kidney failure, your child’s nephrologist may recommend a kidney transplant. In this surgical procedure, a healthy kidney is given to your child from a living organ donor or a deceased donor who has no known chronic kidney disease. Kidney transplant surgery may be a life-saving treatment for children with end-stage kidney failure. Our board-certified transplant surgeons are widely regarded and highly skilled in both traditional and minimally invasive surgery.