Nephrology/Renal Services

The World Class Renal Unit at the Children's Hospital is the second largest in the UK. We treat kidney disease either with dialysis or with renal surgery.

Situated on Ward 1, we see children from the West Midlands and beyond into Wales, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.

We also treat acute and chronic renal failure (looking after someone whose kidneys have stopped working), renal transplantation, plasmapheresis, lipid apheresis and MARS therapy (all forms of dialysis).

Kidney conditions and treatments

  • Dialysis - Some children with kidney failure need to have kidney dialysis. There are two main ways this can be done:
    • Peritoneal dialysis (PD) - The clean dialysis fluid is dripped into the tummy with a special tube which is implanted during an operation. The tube is on the inside of the tummy but on the outside of the gut. The clean fluid picks up the waste from the bloodstream in the capillaries. The dirty fluid can then be drained out of the same tube. The clean fluid cleans the bloodstream doing the same job as the kidneys. Peritoneal dialysis can often be done at home with mum and dad attaching the machine.
    • Blood dialysis - The kidney dialysis machine cleans the blood by pumping a small amount of blood into the machine and then back into the body. The treatment takes several hours, while the dialysis is going on the child can read a book, play computer games or do homework.
  • Renal system surgery - Some children are born with kidney or bladder problems that can’t be fixed with medicine. Our urology surgeons are experts in operating on the kidneys, bladder and the tubes in between. Much of the surgery they do is keyhole surgery.
  • Kidney transplants - download our  kidney transplantation leaflet [pdf] 325KB


Main department: 0121 333 9198
Outpatients Reception/Ward Clerk: 0121 333 9202