Heather Di Carlo, director of pediatric urology research, discusses her experience in complex pediatric and adolescent reconstructive surgery. Dr. Di Carlo and the pediatric urology team care for patients from birth through adolescence with various complex urologic conditions. They also research and specialize in the transition of care for those who need continued follow-up with an adult urologist. Research in this area will help improve both quality of life for patients as well as the future of urology.
My name is Heather DeCarlo. I'm a pediatric urologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Brady Urological Institute. I came to Johns Hopkins in 2012 for my pediatric urology fellowship training. I learned under the tutelage of Doctor John Gerhardt as I had special interest in complex pediatric and adult reconstructive surgery particularly in patients as they got older with congenital urologic diagnoses. I joined the faculty in 2014 and it has been a tremendous experience taking care of both pediatric adolescent and adult patients. I take care of a lot of the transitional and congenital urology patients. These are patients that were born with a pediatric neurological diagnosis and this is lifelong care which is so important. We talk about patients that are going into adolescence, transitioning their care from parents to self and then into adulthood, preserving kidney function and quality of life. Many of these patients need revisions of prior surgeries as well as primary surgeries and we're able to take care of all these patients. Part of this process, we learned so much about our pediatric patients and their lifelong outcomes. We're learning from our adult patients that are 50 60 70 80 years old and what we can do better for our babies and our kids. We're doing a lot of research looking at outcomes. It's so important for a future of urology. And we're pushing this forward. It's a huge part of our research and our interest for the future. It's been a tremendous experience working on all these patients that have been cared for at Hopkins for more than 100 years. We're looking forward to future outcomes assessment and research and we can't wait for our future taking care of these complex neurologic patients.