Kidney & Pancreas Conditions & Treatments

Cedars-Sinai kidney patients receive treatment by caring specialists and surgeons whose training and broad-based experience have earned them reputations that span national and international medical arenas. They are supported by world-class immunology and virology experts as well as a compassionate staff of nurses, technicians and coordinators.

Treatments for all kidney-related conditions are available to Cedars-Sinai patients, including:

  • Chronic kidney disease. This develops when the kidneys no longer function fully to filter waste products and balance fluid and chemicals in the body. When 15% or more of kidney function is lost, the patient must undergo dialysis or consider kidney transplantation.
  • Diabetic nephropathy. High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause kidney damage.
  • Acute renal failure. The kidneys may abruptly stop working from dehydration, blood loss from injury or surgery, or in reaction to certain medications.
  • Viral-related kidney disease
  • Kidney cancer. This includes transitional cell carcinoma (affecting the renal pelvis) and Wilms' tumor (a form of kidney cancer that attacks children).

Advanced transplant procedures include:

  • Deceased-donated kidney transplant
  • Living donor kidney transplant (from related or unrelated donors)
  • Simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants for Type 1 diabetics suffering from chronic renal failure
  • Pancreas transplants for Type 1 diabetics who have already received a kidney transplant
  • Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, minimally invasive surgery in which the living donor's kidney is removed through a small opening

Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center offers kidney donors a minimally invasive surgery, called laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy. This procedure allows a kidney to be removed through a small opening. The laparoscopic nephrectomy procedure allows for fewer risks and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional surgical techniques.

Typically, the donor is able to leave the hospital the day after surgery. This advanced surgical technique may be an option for potential kidney donors, and interested donors should ask their surgical team about this option. 

Transplantation of a Kidney

Surgeons of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program have successfully performed highly complex transplants on patients from one year old to age 75. Since 1966, Cedars-Sinai has performed more than 1,500 kidney transplants, with an average of 225 transplants per year performed in the last three years. The Pediatric Kidney Transplant program was established in 1988 and today, an average of six pediatric renal transplants are performed annually.

Available services include the transplant of kidneys from related and unrelated living donors as well as from deceased donors. The Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program also offers immunotherapy for highly sensitized patients who would otherwise not be candidates for a kidney transplant.

The surgical approach at Cedars-Sinai provides for both a vascular surgeon and a urologic surgeon working as a team to perform each kidney transplant. This promotes superlative care and superior outcomes for patients. On the donor side, surgeons offer deep expertise and high rates of success using donor kidneys with multiple vessels, a more complicated procedure.