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Research & Innovation | Overview

The Kidney Stone Program is a leader in the study of pediatric kidney stones and is at the forefront of innovation in this field. Our areas of advancement include:

Complex kidney stone surgery

We have developed techniques to treat large stones, or stones in patients with complex urologic anatomy, in a single combined procedure with our interventional radiology colleagues. This also allows us to confirm that all stones have been removed with a CT scan before the operation is complete.

Efficient laser lithotripsy

Boston Children’s was the first pediatric hospital in North America to introduce the Thulium Fiber laser into stone treatment for children. The laser allows us to produce smaller stone “dust” that passes more easily after the procedure — the particles are often under one-10th of a millimeter. It’s also faster, which allows us to treat stones in one procedure that may have required two sessions.

Radiation safety

Some — but not all — operations for kidney stones require X-rays for safe and effective surgery. We use the most advanced X-ray machines, which our research has shown have more precise imaging but use less than half of the radiation of more commonly available units. Our imaging team regularly maintains and tests every X-ray machine to ensure the dose is as low as possible to achieve our surgical goals.

Metabolic research

We are interested in why stones form, and have ongoing research into different areas of metabolism.