Pediatric Urologists

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi all,

    My wife and I recently welcomed our second child (~10 days old) who was diagnosed with hydronephrosis and urine reflux to his kidney during gestation.  We have been referred to Dr. DiSandro of UCSF Benioff hospital for his condition.  The doctor recommends that our son does a VCUG test as well as a MAG-3 Lasix test at 1 month old to better understand his kidney function and the extend of the urine reflux.  While Dr. DiSandro has been great, we being anxious parents are also trying to see if there are other doctors we should see and consult with.  Would really appreciate any recommendations people may have in terms of either their kids going through or have gone through similar situations or good pediatric urologist to recommend.

    Thanks in advance for your time and help.

    - G

    Dr Baskin at UCSF is the absolute expert. If your doctor is part of his clinic, I’d trust him. If not, switch to Dr Baskin. He’s a truly caring doctor. (Btw my son also had this condition, the tests showed it was nothing to worry about.)

    Our son was diagnosed with hydronephrosis in utero. After he was born until he got the VCUG he was put on antibiotics to make sure he doesn't get a kidney infection in case of reflux. The VCUG showed no reflux. He outgrew the hydronephrosis by age 2.

    From what our doctor (head of pediatric urology at Stanford at the time; name escapes my as it is more than ten years ago) told us, most kids outgrow it within a few years.

    We were in this exact position with our first son. We thought we were seeing the "top Stanford doctor" but at the last minute ended up with a relatively new doctor as a substitute. She recommended all kinds of invasive testing, and we were very hesitant to put our newborn through that. 

    We sought a second opinion from Dr Laurence Baskin at UCSF, and were very impressed. He is relaxed, confident, and knowledgeable. He preferred a "wait and see" approach, which fit with how we wanted to handle the problem, and it ended up clearing up on its own. I would recommend seeing him!

    We are going through this currently with our 4 month old.  We see Dr. Morrell (Nephrology) and Dr. Baskin (Urology) at UCSF (Children's - Oakland) and are happy with both.  We've already done the two tests you mention, and are awaiting the results of the Lasix test.  We had the VCUG done at, I think, 1 month and the Lasix at 3 months.  In terms of getting the tests performed, it is fairly straightforward and the staff at Children's are really great.  They have been competent and efficient, as well as sensitive to our needs as new parents.  It's not great to watch your newborn get an IV or catheter, but they do their best to be quick about it and are so good about calming our fears.  Aside from testing, our little one is on low dose antibiotics daily to prevent a UTI, and we give him a probiotic as well on the recommendation of our pediatrician.  I think if you are happy with the doctor you're currently seeing, then I'd stick with them, although if you're looking to switch I'd recommend the doctors we're seeing as they are great.  Also, I know it is so easy to worry about your baby, but this diagnosis is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  It is an easily treatable condition and your little one will likely grow out of it with little intervention needed, so try not to sweat it too much.

  • Hello, I'm in search of a pediatric urologist with expertise in enuresis.  My 5 year old boy has been having daytime wetting accidents for nearly a year and we feel like we've exhausted the interventions of timed bathroom breaks and clearing out any bowel compaction.  We think there's a plumbing problem that can't be addressed behaviorally.  Can anyone recommend a pediatric urologist or other medical expert for daytime wetting?  Thank you!

    Dr. Baskin at UCSF. Top in the field & a genuinely nice person. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Imperforate hymen - Ped urologist surgeon at UCSF

March 2010

My 10 month old daughter was diagnosed at birth with a possible imperforate hymen - basically there is some tissue that appears to be blocking her vaginal opening. We have seen the pediatric surgeon at Kaiser, who is recommending that he can open it now with a simple surgery. From what I can find online (the bane of doctors everywhere, I know) it sounds like it might be better to do it when she's entering puberty and has more estrogen present, which can apparently help it heal better without scarring down too much (which might mean having to re-do it). It also sounds like it's possible it could be something more severe like a transverse vaginal septum, in which case I'm not sure they would be prepared to do that surgery at Kaiser. I'm also concerned because this doctor is talking about just incising the tissue open, whereas some articles discuss that it has to be sutured to the vaginal wall to heal properly. I would love it if he is right, and we could just do a simple procedure and fix it, but I don't want to do it too early, and have it not turn out well. On the other hand, I'm also worried that the older she is, the more mentally/emotionally difficult it will be for her, too.

Basically I would like a second opinion before we waltz blithely into a surgery which could have a major effect on my daughter's quality of life. My understanding is that this surgeon is also the same surgeon we would see if we went to Children's Hospital in Oakland. I was thinking there must be someone at UCSF that specializes in this type of problem. If anyone could recommend someone they've seen there (or elsewhere) for a similar problem, I would really appreciate it! If anyone has had a similar experience with their child, and would be willing to share it, I would really appreciate that as well. Worried mom

Find a specialist. When I was a baby, I apparently had this problem, and my pediatrician just ''gave me a little slice'' (says my mother) to correct it. No proof, but I believe that that is one of the reasons I have never been able to have an orgasm (due to nerves being cut). So do her a favor and wait, plus find someone who really knows what they're doing! Very anon

Surgeon or urologist for circumcision revision

May 2008

Has anyone's son had a circumcision revision? If so would you recommend your Surgeon or Urologist? Our son needs a revision and we've spoken with a Urologist who we really liked but are uncomfortable that he does the surgery in a Surgery Center not at Children's Hosp. We also spoke with a surgeon who can do this at Children's Hosp but we were not very comfortable with him at all. We are told the risks of the procedure are minimal but the anesthesia is the biggest concern. Has anyone used the Surgery Center on Telegraph and 38th ish? Would you recommend this for a pediatric procedure? Unsure Mama

our son had to have a circ revision (and bilateral hernia repair) when he turned two years old. we went to chi lee, md who is a urologist who sees both adults and kids. he came to us on the recommendation of our pediatrician, whom i trust implicitly. we were offered the choice of children's or the surgery center and went for the surgery center. we didn't want to be in the OR waiting room with a lot of worried parents. we didn't want to deal with the admissions process that we would have had at childrens. and we had not doubt about the competency of any of the people involved in dealing with our son-the anesthesiologist, urologist, or any of the recovery team when it came to children. our experience there was as good as it could have been. we were the first case of the day (something i totally recommend). we had a private room where the dr and anesthesiologist met with us beforehand. they also gave our son his pre-sedation medication there, so we could totally be with him as he got a little nutty. they carried him to the OR themselves (no gurney!) and that was really good. i thought i'd lose my mind if my son was upset or crying or reaching out to me as he was led away to surgery. none of that happened and it was smooth sailing. they were great with the pain management at home too- gave him a walking epidural since the codeine made him barf. my poor baby! i'd say go for the surgery center- a lot of these drs operate at both and you avoid the whole hospital/sick kid scene. paige

I missed the original post, but had to chime in with my experiences with pediatric urologists. My daughter had a bladder reflux and our pediatrician sent us to Dr. Chi Li. He was fine, although I was uncomfortable taking my baby girl to an office that had viagra pamphlets in the waiting room. But, when my daughter's condition didn't improve, he told me over the phone that she needed to have surgery. I went to Dr. Lawrence Baskin at Children's for a second opinion. Not only was I more comfortable taking my baby to Children's, but Dr. Baskin seemed to be up on the latest procedures. He said we should wait to do anything, and if we needed to do anything, there was a somewhat new, non-invasive procedure we should try first. My daughter did eventually have to have the procedure, and our experience at Children's was good - they are experts at dealing with nervous parents and kids. About a year later, my son developed a hernia, and we went back to Children's. Can't remembe! r the name of the doctor, but he was in the same office as Dr Baskin (Children's Surgical Associates maybe?) My son had to have surgery, and again, overall, it was a positive experience.

I didn't see the original post, but we had a circ revision with Dr. James Betts at Children's Hospital, and I wanted to put in a good word. Although the atmosphere at Children's is busy and not as intimate as a clinic, we had a lot of confidence in the expertise of the people working with our son. Dr. Betts did an amazing job, and our son has no unpleasant memories of the experience (he was 18 months at the time, but he had another surgery at Children's at age 3.5, and he still likes it there). The nursing staff was great.

If anyone reading this is wondering why a circumcision would need to be revised, I'd like to share our story: the OB who performed the original circ wanted to do a ''conservative'' job (i.e., take off only a little), which sounded at the time like she was being really reasonable and not ''old fashioned'' and severe. As it turned out, this resulted in a weird appearance and recurrent adhesions that required uncomfortable treatment (and ultimately, a fairly involved surgery). Needless to say, all this was incredibly upsetting. So, if your doctor recommends anything that sounds like a ''conservative'' circumcision, ask a lot of questions about what that means . . . Anon

Surgery for infant's blocked ureter

June 2004

Our son will need surgery to repair a block in one of his ureters so his kidney drains properly - he has a grade IV hydronephrosis. The surgery is currently scheduled for September. He will be 7.5 mnths old. I am looking to get advice and share experiences and apprehensions with other parents who have had any of the following similar experiences: with their baby, with our surgeon, Dr. Baskin or at Children's Hospital, Oakland.

While I don't have experience with infant surgery per se, I do have experience with Dr. Baskin. He is considered to be one of the best pediatric urologists in the Bay Area. You can also be assured that Dr. Baskin would not recommend surgery unless it was the ONLY option. My daughter was diagnosed with a bladder reflux when she was about 3 months old. At that time she started seeing Dr. Lee. Around 18 months he said her condition was not going to clear up and she should have surgery. We got a second opinion with Dr. Baskin who said that there was a good chance her condition would clear up on it's own, if it didn't there were other less-invasive procedures to try before surgery, and why do surgery when she wasn't experiencing any complications from the condition? And, he was right. At 2.5 she's showing no signs of a bladder reflux! FYI, my daughter was hospitalized at Children's when she was an infant. I was allowed to sleep overnight with my child and the staff were very kind. (although some nurses were better than others...)
Good luck with the surgery.

Pediatric Urologist for baby's surgery

July 2002

I'm looking for recommendations for pediatric urologists. Our pediatrician has referred us to Dr. Chi Lee, but I have been unable to find much information about him. My 5-month old daughter has a condition which may require surgery, so I want to be sure we have the best doctor! Maggie's mom

I actually met with Dr.Lee today as our son needs surgery at age one to correct something. I feel very comfortable with Dr. Lee after meeting with him. He came highly recommended from our pediatrician and does seem to know his stuff. (A very nice personable guy to boot). I think you need to book an appointment about 2 months in advance so you should call ASAP. ruemedi

We were also referred to Dr. Chi Lee by our pediatrician, and we've been very happy with him. (He saw our infant son several times in his office, then operated on him at Children's Hospital when he was 1.) He was friendly, straightforward, patient, and great at explaining what was going on. And his office staff was wonderful--they always plied my son with stickers and cookies and made him feel special. Good luck! Anonymous

My 2-1/2 year old son is having hernia repair surgery in early March. Dr. Joel Piser (in Berkeley) is doing the surgery. He sees both adults and kids. I've only seen him once, but I've heard good things about him. I liked him well enough and he has a good ''bedside manner.'' Obviously the whole experience of having to watch your kid go through surgery is unnerving, but I feel confident that Piser will do a good job. Good luck! cathy

I highly recommend Dr. Sumner Marshall in Berkeley. I had to go a couple of times to follow up after my son's Brit (circumcision), and he was very highly recommended to me by my pediatrician and others. It was a very traumatic experience for me (if not for my son!), but he was a very gentle, kind older man, and he made the very best of an difficult situation -- and my son is fine now! I felt very confident that my baby was getting the best care, and I would certainly use him again if I had the need. Sign me anonymous