Adult Congenital Urology

We know that growing up is hard, especially when you have complicated medical conditions.

If you're an adolescent or young adult with congenital urologic issues, you may need long-term specialized care and monitoring.

Get help from UC San Diego Health's Adult Congenital Urology program, led by Yahir Santiago-Lastra, MD. We work with you and your family to make your move from pediatric urology to adult urologic care easy, comfortable and successful. You will receive comprehensive urological services that are tailored to your needs.

We understand the unique challenges of navigating the health system as a young adult and are here to help you.

Who We Care For

Your family might start planning for adult urology care when you’re in your early teens. But the right time to transition care to a new team is different for everyone.

We can help patients having conditions with lifelong effects, such as:

  • Bladder or cloacal exstrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Posterior urethral valves
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal cord tumors/malformations
  • Voiding dysfunction

Adult Congenital Urologic Services

Count on us for help with transitioning to adult medical care.

We will work with pediatric urologists at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego to see if you need continuing urologic care. We will obtain your records and create a smooth and seamless shift to the adult medical system at UC San Diego Health.

You will get uninterrupted treatment and support as you learn to manage your condition and gain resilience and independent self-care skills. Our experts focus on:

  • Preserving your kidney health
  • Optimizing bladder management
  • Managing urinary incontinence
  • Treating and preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones
  • Addressing your sexual health and fertility concerns
  • Improving your quality of life

Your Care Team

Your urologic care team is led by Dr. Yahir A. Santiago-Lastra, a urologic surgeon with expertise in treating neurogenic bladder and congenital urologic conditions, and Rachel Shapiro, a certified physician assistant with specialty training in neurogenic bladder, urinary dysfunction and congenital urologic conditions.

They work with a multidisciplinary network to provide the comprehensive care you deserve. It can include:

  • Specialists in voiding dysfunction, sexual medicine, infertility, men's health, urogenital reconstruction and urinary stone disease
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Internal medicine doctors
  • Psychologists and social workers

Moving from Pediatric to Adult Urology Care

We work closely with you and your family to create a urologic transition plan that's right for you as you grow and change.

Medical records: If you received care at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, we can access your records during your first appointment. If you are switching from another health care system to UC San Diego Health, please ask your pediatric urologist to forward your medical records to use before your appointment.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

The first appointment is typically an opportunity for us to get to know each other. You are welcome to come with or without your parents.

  • We want to discover what you enjoy and what your goals are.
  • We will review all your medical records and come up with an initial diagnostic/treatment plan for you.
  • Please write down any specific questions that you would like to ask us — we'll be happy to answer them for you.

Changing medical teams can be a big deal, and we're here to help you! We are also committed to helping you maximize your quality of life and stay healthy.