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Adult Congenital Urology

teenagers sitting around a study table with adolescent in wheelchair

Transitioning From Pediatric to Adult Urologic Care

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.

Adult Congenital Urologic Services

Make an Appointment

Patients and referring physicians, please call 619-543-6544.

We work with pediatric urologists at the Spinal Defects Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego to identify adolescent patients with complex conditions who will need continuing urologic care. We 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 from us 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 urologic quality of life

Who We Care For

The age for transition to adult care may vary. We help teens and young adult patients with conditions that may have lifelong effects, such as:

  • Bladder or cloacal exstrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neurogenic bladder (secondary to other disease processes)
  • Posterior urethral valves
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal cord tumors/malformations
  • Voiding dysfunction

Your Care Team

Your team of urologic experts works with a multidisciplinary network to provide the comprehensive care you deserve. It includes specialists in voiding dysfunction, sexual medicine, infertility, men's health, urogenital reconstruction, urinary stone disease, and general and pediatric urology.

We also collaborate with experts in physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurosurgery, internal medicine, and psychology and social work.

Your urologic care team is led by:

  • Yahir A. Santiago-Lastra, MD: Urologic surgeon with expertise in treating neurogenic bladder and congenital urologic conditions. As director of our Adult Congenital Urology program, she offers state-of-the-art, evidence-based diagnostics and therapies to improve your quality of life.
  • Rachel Shapiro, PA-C: Certified physician assistant with specialty training in neurogenic bladder, urinary dysfunction and congenital urologic conditions. She provides nonsurgical treatment for all aspects of your urologic health.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

We work closely with you and your family to create a urologic transition plan that's right for you as you grow and change. You're welcome to come with or without your parents.

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 have your records available at the time of the appointment.

Care process: 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.

​Appointments & Referrals


La Jolla


Meet Our Team