Comprehensive Urinary Stone Program

Kidney, bladder and ureteral stones, also called urinary stones, aren’t just adult conditions. Children can get urinary stones, too, and our experts go beyond standard treatment.

We focus on finding the cause so we can prevent future stones. And our unique partnership between pediatric urologists, nephrologists and nutritionists provides your child with complete care.

Urinary Stone Program: Why Choose Us

Many urology practices see kids and adults. But at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, our doctors only treat children. Your child and family receive:

  • Pediatric focus: Our specialization in pediatrics means we understand how urinary stones affect young people. And because we are a nationally ranked pediatric urology program, your child has access to the best treatments.
  • Complete care: The best kidney stone care for children should be a team effort among specialists in pediatric urology, nephrology and nutrition. At CHLA, these medical specialties closely collaborate on your child’s urinary stone treatment.
    • This partnership means your child receives care that goes beyond diagnosing and treating urinary stones. With nephrology and nutrition, we pinpoint and address medical issues that may have caused the stones. By identifying these causes, such as certain foods or high mineral levels in the urine, we can prevent stones from forming in the future.
  • Expert team: Every member of our pediatric urology team—from the anesthesiologists to the nurse practitioners—is an expert in caring for children. This expertise means children receive urinary stone care that is designed with their comfort in mind.

Urinary Stones We Treat

Our Urinary Stone Program includes treatments for all types of kidney and urinary stones in children, including:

  • Kidney stones
  • Bladder stones
  • Ureteral stones

Urinary Stone Diagnosis in Children

An accurate diagnosis of urinary stones is an important step in your child’s treatment. We use safe, advanced ultrasound scans to diagnose children’s urinary stones. An ultrasound uses sound waves to view the inside of the body. It is painless and radiation-free.

Our doctors’ experience and leading-edge equipment help them provide the right diagnosis. Then, we explain treatment options and answer your questions.

Urinary Stone Treatment in Children

Treatment for urinary stones in children depends on the stone’s size and location. We discuss your child’s treatment options with you so you can make an informed decision.

Our team offers proven, effective treatments for stones that we customize for children, including:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): ESWL is a nonsurgical procedure that uses high energy sound waves to break up stones. The waves break the stones into tiny, sand-sized pieces. Then, children can often pass the stones with little to no pain.
  • Ureteroscopy: This minimally invasive procedure involves using a tiny, flexible, telescope-like device. A surgeon inserts the scope directly into the urinary tract, finds the stone and removes it. This can successfully treat bladder stones in children, as well as ureteral stones.
  • Surgery: Our experts believe in trying the least invasive treatment methods first. But in rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove kidney stones in children. Our pediatric urologists are expert surgeons, specializing in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery techniques. These methods allow children to recover faster. Learn more about our minimally invasive and robotic pediatric urology surgery.