Department of Urology | Research and Innovation

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Contact the Department of Urology

Research-driven practice

Boston Children’s Hospital is a leader in pediatric care and at the forefront of clinical research and innovation. Ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report as the top pediatric hospital for urology, our Department continues to refine our techniques and conduct research to develop more effective therapies. More specifically, our research focuses on tissue engineering, proteomics (the study of proteins) and the function of the bladder.

Other current research includes:

Surgical outcome study: ORCA

The ORCA study is a randomized trial of one-stage versus two-stage surgery for abdominal undescended testicles. Normally the testicles form in the abdomen and descend into the scrotum before birth. In some boys, the testicles do not descend on their own, and surgical treatment is needed. 

In the most severe cases, the testicles never get out of the abdomen. For these abdominal testicles, urologists have traditionally done a procedure called a "Fowler-Stephens Orchidopexy", which can be done all at once (as a one-stage surgery) or in two stages separated by several months (the two-stage surgery). It is unknown whether the outcomes are better or worse with the one-stage or two-stage surgery, so our trial is designed to carefully compare these surgical strategies to determine if doing a two-stage operation results in better outcomes, or if one-stage operation is sufficient. The results of this trial will guide treatment of these boys for decades. 

Innovations in health services research include:

  • The use and quality of radiation-intensive imaging studies varies widely among treatment centers, resulting in highly variable radiation exposure in children. At Boston Children’s, we use the lowest and safest doses of radiation.
  • Radiation exposure during kidney stone surgery can be reduced up to 80 percent.
  • Quality of pediatric urology care appears to be higher at high-volume specialty pediatric centers. In other words, the largest pediatric centers provide the best pediatric care. Let us care for your child.

Patient and family satisfaction is a key component of health care quality. With this in mind, our group has designed a number of assessment tools to measure and enhance the satisfaction of families with the care provided. These tools include:

  • a rigorous measurement of satisfaction during genitourinary or urogenital system imaging tests
  • an assessment of family satisfaction with both surgical and post-operative care after minor surgery such as circumcision
  • creation of educational tools for parent education after outpatient surgery
  • feedback from families regarding appointments

Ready to make a urology appointment?

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944