Cystinuria (stones from defect)

Cystinuria is a relatively rare disease in which people inherit an inability to process an amino acid called cystine.  Excess cystine winds up in the urine, where it can lead to the formation of stones in the bladder, kidneys, and ureters.  Cystine stones tend to recur, and some people have many, painful episodes every year.  Some patients undergo 30 or more surgeries over the course of their lifetime to remove stones. 

UCSF urologists are experts in cystinuria and the treatment of cystine stones.  Our treatment plan consists of dietary intervention, medical management, and surgery. Our focus is on the prevention of stones and keeping patients out of the operating room.  However, when surgery is necessary, we specialize in minimally invasive techniques that emphasize the preservation of long-term kidney function.  Much of our research is centered on improving treatment for cystinuria patients.