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The Kidney Stone Program at Boston Children’s Hospital cares for children and adolescents who are affected by kidney stones, including those who have had them previously and those who are at risk for developing them.
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts that form inside the kidneys or ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder). These stones can block the drainage of urine and cause pain.
Once considered an “adult” condition, the incidence of kidney stones in children has increased steadily over the years. In response to this increase, our multidisciplinary clinic brings together pediatric nephrologists, urologists and nurses to help treat and manage children with stones.
Treatments typically involve noninvasive or minimally invasive surgical techniques. In rare instances, we use robotic surgery techniques to remove the stones. After treatment, experts in nephrology perform blood and urine analysis to look for any abnormalities that could be potential causes for the stones.
Since its establishment in 2007, our program has already helped thousands of children who are afflicted with kidney stones.
As the incidence of stones in the pediatric population increased, it became clear that a collaborative effort for treatment was needed. Our clinic involves pediatric urologists who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of stones. Since prevention is also a key part of our treatment plan, our program includes experts in nephrology to perform an extensive series of blood and urine analysis that help determine the cause of stones and stop them from reccurring by implementing specific regimens.
This collective approach ensures that we provide the most comprehensive and coordinated care to each child we treat.
Our mission is to provide exceptional evaluation and treatment of kidney stones and reduce the rate of their reoccurrence. Another important goal is reducing the effects of radiation exposure these children experience during the evaluation and treatment process.
One way we do this is by using ultrasound for diagnosis, rather than traditional a computed tomography (CT) scan that involves radiation. Our center also has an active protocol in place to monitor and minimize the amount of fluoroscopy time that children receive in the operating room. Fluoroscopy is a special technique that produces real-time images from inside a child’s body. However, since fluoroscopy uses x-ray technology, it also involves exposure to radiation.
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”