Pediatric kidney stones

Treatment, education and prevention

Children aren’t just little adults. So, when they have kidney stones, they need urology and nephrology specialists trained to work with kids. The UW Health providers have experience in all phases of kids’ kidney stone care. From diagnosis and treatment to education and prevention, you and your child can rely on us.
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Overview

Our approach to kidney stone care for kids

Kidney stones are small clumps of material that form in the kidney.

They’re made of calcium or other substances found in urine. Not all kidney stones need treatment. But larger stones can get stuck in the urinary tract. The stones may block urine flow and cause pain or bleeding.

Through our Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic, we offer nonsurgical and advanced surgical treatments. Minimally invasive surgeries reduce recovery time and scarring. We also work to find the cause of your child’s kidney stones. Often an underlying medical condition is to blame. In all cases, we educate children and their families about preventing future problems.

Meet our team

Expertise to put you and your child at ease

Our experts

Specialize in kidney function and kidney diseases. They check for metabolic problems that may cause kidney stones.

Focus on problems of the urinary tract. They help evaluate treatments, including surgical options.

Help to discover eating patterns that may contribute to kidney stones. They also develop an eating plan that may help prevent new kidney stones in the future.

Our providers

Excellent care every step of the way

Pediatric Urology Services

Treatments and research

Easing your child’s symptoms

Treatment Options

Lithotripsy delivers shock waves to kidney stones from outside the body. The waves break the stone into tiny pieces that can pass through the urinary tract on their own. Children have this procedure under anesthesia, usually on an outpatient basis.

Cystoscopy and ureteroscopy are also outpatient procedures done while your child is under anesthesia. 

Cystoscopy involves passing a thin tube with a lens on the end through your child’s urethra. The urethra is the duct that carries urine from the bladder outside the body. The procedure allows doctors to look at the urethra and bladder. Ureteroscopy is a similar procedure that allows doctors to see the kidney and the lining of the ducts that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder. 

Once doctors find the stone during these procedures, they can remove them or break them into smaller pieces.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy involves passing a tool called a nephroscope through a small cut in your child’s back. The device goes directly into the kidney. Doctors can then remove the stone or break it into smaller pieces with a laser.

Once your child has a kidney stone, more are likely to develop. An important part of treatment is to try to prevent them. 

When we remove a stone, we study it. Learning what it’s made of guides our prevention efforts. Our team uses the information to help you change your child’s eating and drinking habits. Sometimes we recommend medicine as well.

Locations

We’re here for you and your child

The UW Health Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic is located within American Family Children’s Hospital, in Madison.

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  • American Family Children's Hospital - Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic
    • 1675 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-6420
    • Closed now
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      View hours, services and more

Patient support and services

More information about kidney stones

Resources

These resources may help you learn more about kidney stones and their treatments: