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Kidney Stone Center

The goal of the Columbia University Medical Center Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center is to evaluate, treat and prevent kidney stone disease via a multidisciplinary approach. The Stone Center involves a collaboration between urologists, nephrologists, nutritionists and basic science researchers all focused on patient care and investigating kidney stone disease. We are committed to utilizing and improving minimally invasive and endoscopic technology for the treatment of kidney stones, in addition to medical therapy and dietary interventions for prevention of stone recurrence

Our urologists include fellowship-trained endourologists who are involved in cutting edge research to keep our center at the forefront of kidney stone treatments. We are able to offer state-of-the-art technology for the evaluation and management of kidney stones, which includes digital and fiberoptic endoscopic and video equipment, lithotriptors, Holmium laser technology, and imaging techniques via collaboration with the world-renowned Columbia University Department of Radiology.

Our program offers and has expertise in all aspects of surgical treatment for stones—from the basic to the most complex stone disease including shockwave lithotripsy (SWL), ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, robotic surgery/laparoscopy, and, in the rarest of cases, open surgery.  The best treatment for each patient is determined on a case-by-case basis (shared decision making) after a full discussion with the patient regarding the risks, benefits and success rates of each approach.

We have a dedicated team in the operating room at Columbia University Medical Center who are specialized in the minimally invasive treatment approaches for kidney stones. In addition to our urologists, the team includes anesthesiologists, dedicated nurses, and radiology technicians, to ensure that the optimal  treatment is always available.

One of our major strengths at Columbia is the ureteroscopic treatment of complex stone disease and larger stone burdens (surgery without any incisions). We also have extensive experience with percutaneous kidney surgery for larger kidney stones or for patients with more complex kidney conditions. The typical instruments used for ureteroscopic surgery are less than 3-4 mm in width and have the ability to traverse the urinary tract with no incisions and magnify our visualization allowing for optimal therapy with a very low complication rate.

We are also a major referral center for the treatment of complications that can occur during the management of kidney and ureteral stones. With our fellowship-trained physicians, we have expertise in the endoscopic management of these issues, in addition to a large experience in urinary tract reconstruction with both open surgery and robotic/laparoscopic techniques if ever needed.

Following surgical treatment, we focus our efforts in stone prevention through metabolic evaluation, medical therapy, and dietary counseling. We have a team approach with dedicated nephrologists who specialize in stone prevention and medical therapy. A nutritionist is also available to discuss the dietary recommendations and incorporate them into patient’s lives taking into account other dietary limitations based on other active medical issues and restrictions. Our goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life and prevent stone recurrences, thereby preventing painful episodes related to stone passage and stone growth, and decreasing time lost from normal activities and work, decreasing hospitalizations, decreasing the need for surgical interventions, and decreasing rate of stone formation.

We are involved in both basic science and clinical research of benign urological conditions, which includes the field of kidney stones. This research encompasses aspects of stone formation, treatment, prevention, and new technology involved in endourology and stone treatment. We are well-published in peer-reviewed literature, in addition to numerous book chapters and review articles, regarding the management of kidney stone disease. Furthermore, our faculty has been invited to present our research and techniques at both a national and international level.