Nephrology – Kidney Disease

Kidney Supportive Care

Kidney Supportive Care provides an individualized, extra layer of support for all patients with advanced kidney disease, with the goal of helping patients attain the best possible quality of life throughout the course of their illness. This may include managing symptoms related to kidney disease, clarifying what is most important to each patient, and coming up with a personalized treatment plan.

Who can receive Kidney Supportive Care?
Kidney Supportive Care is intended for patients of any age who have chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage kidney disease (ESRD), or acute kidney injury (AKI). It can be provided together with or without life-prolonging therapies including dialysis and kidney transplantation. 

Is Kidney Supportive Care only for patients who do not wish to pursue dialysis, or patients at the end of life?
No; Kidney Supportive Care is offered to all patients with advanced kidney disease because all patients can benefit from an improved quality of life.

What does Kidney Supportive Care offer?
Kidney Supportive Care is individualized for each patient and addresses the following areas:

  • Symptom management 
    • Alleviating symptoms of advanced kidney disease, such as pain, nausea, itching, fatigue, and sleep difficulties
  • Goals and expectations
    • Talking about questions, concerns, and/or what to expect regarding kidney disease diagnosis and/or progression 
  • Kidney disease treatment options
    • Discussing different pathways for the treatment of advanced kidney disease, including dialysis options, non-dialysis care, withdrawing from dialysis, and/or kidney transplantation 
  • Advance care planning and end-of-life care
    • Discussing goals and wishes for future health care (advance care planning)
    • Providing end-of-life care, including transition to hospice services
    • Supporting patients and their families and loved ones throughout the illness course

Who provides Kidney Supportive Care?
Our program is led by two kidney doctors, Dr. Emily Lu and Dr. Holly Koncicki, who both have special training in kidney disease and palliative care (pain and symptom management).

Does Kidney Supportive Care replace my existing kidney doctor care?
No; Kidney Supportive Care is offered in conjunction with the patient’s existing kidney doctor appointments.

For older adults, Kidney Supportive Care can also work together with our Geriatric Kidney Disease doctors to help provide additional support.