Endourology and Stone Disease

Why Yale Urology

Yale Urology’s Stone Program offers a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to treating kidney stones in both adults and children. We are committed to offering our patients the most advanced diagnostic technologies and treatment strategies available. Our doctors continually integrate the latest in science-based medicine and innovative approaches into their practice to offer patients safer and more effective treatments.

Innovative Treatments

Our team uses non-invasive radiologic imaging, such as ultrasounds and CT scans to identify and quantify the stone burden. We use state-of-the-art treatment modalities, including incisionless stone ablation with shock waves and minimally invasive approaches using endoscopic or percutaneous techniques to break up and extract the stones. Some stones can be treated with non-invasive medical management. 

Our doctors are at the forefront of research in men’s health issues, including research for erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease and the vascular biology of erectile dysfunction. We continually integrate the latest in science-based medicine and innovative approaches into our practice to offer patients safer and more effective treatments.

Yale leads the way in reducing radiation exposure and stone recurrence

Yale University and the Stone Research Team, which is a multidisciplinary collaboration between urology, emergency medicine, biostatistics, and radiology, has been leading the way in reducing radiation exposure for patients presenting with kidney stones. Such patients are exactly the patients at most risk for cumulative radiation exposure since they are more prone to recurrent stones and pain and thus subjected to more imaging. This radiation dosing has risks for the development of secondary cancers. In fact it is estimated that 29,000 patients in the United States will acquire a secondary cancer as a result of CT scan induced radiation exposure. Expressed in another way, for every 500 – 1400 CT scans done for kidney stones, one patient will develop a secondary cancer. We are testing the use of an Ultra Low Dose CT scan which is approximately 87% less radiation than the standard CT scans that are done for patients with kidney stones. 

We have also developed a multidisciplinary team to work with patients to reduce future kidney stones. This team consists of urology, nephrology and dietary experts. Once someone has formed a kidney stone, their risks of getting another one within 10 years is 50%. That is too high. We are dedicated to working with patients to lower that percentage chance to as low a number as possible. This is a new program at Yale and is the core of the Yale Stone Clinic.

About Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are deposits of mineral and acid salts formed within the kidneys and can cause significant pain and obstruction as the stones passes from the kidney to the ureter on the way to the bladder. Kidney stones can be associated with kidney problems, infections, and they can impair kidney function. Kidney stones are thought to be a product of an American diet high in salt and processed foods, but they are also associated with certain medical factors that leave some patients at a higher risk for stone formation. 

As part of our treatment program, we perform a comprehensive medical work-up to identify a patient’s risk factors for future development of kidney stones and review dietary changes and medications to prevent or decrease recurrence rates.