In the relatively short time that Dr. Antoine “Tony” Khoury, medical director of pediatric urology at CHOC Children’s and professor of urology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine, has led the CHOC Children’s Urology Center, it has become a nationally recognized center of excellence in the subspecialty of pediatric urology.
Dr. Khoury came to CHOC in 2008 and brought leading-edge pediatric urology services to Orange County with the opening of the center in 2010. The center provides comprehensive care for children, from the most common conditions such as hernias and urinary infections to the most complex congenital abnormalities, such as bladder and cloacal exstrophy.
Recently, CHOC was nationally ranked in six specialties –one of them pediatric urology – in the 2013-14 U.S. News & World ranking of Best Children’s Hospitals. In addition, the number of patients the center helps continues to grow.
“We’re seeing 600 outpatients a month from the greater area, from Corona and Long Beach to as far east as Loma Linda and Riverside. “In addition, we perform 80-100 surgical procedures a month,” Dr. Khoury said.
“The children are getting world-class care. We are now getting some international patients. We just operated on a patient from Israel who came here after having two unsuccessful surgeries.”
Born and raised in Egypt, Dr. Khoury attended Ain Shams University Medical School in Cairo and is board-certified in urology. He completed his residency in urology at the University of Toronto in Canada and a clinical fellowship and a research fellowship in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He followed this with a research fellowship at the University of Calgary in Canada, in the area of biomaterial-related infections.
Dr. Khoury didn’t initially plan to become a pediatric urologist; he thought he’d become a surgeon for adults. He fell in love with the field during his residency and noted that pediatric urology was very different than urology for adults.
“Our patients are obviously much smaller and require advanced surgical expertise. Additionally, the majority of our procedures are reconstructive in nature, requiring imagination and constant surgical innovation.”
Fellowship and Clinical Research Innovations
Under Dr. Khoury’s leadership, CHOC offers a two-year fellowship in pediatric urology and several research and academic programs are underway. The fellowship program was accredited this year by the American College for Graduate Medical Education and 2013 marked the first time that CHOC, in partnership with UC Irvine, has offered an accredited pediatric urology fellowship.
Dr. Khoury is also proud of the clinical research innovations CHOC has accomplished in recent years in pediatric urology. For example, his team developed a highly regarded new bladder-to-kidney reflux risk calculator designed to help define the best treatment options for children with vesicoureteric reflux. The reflux of urine from the bladder back up into the kidneys is a common problem in children and can lead to infections and scar formation in the kidneys.
“We developed an app that takes into account all the risk factors involved in kidney infections so that the treating physician can determine the risk of a child developing a kidney infection within two years of treatment,” Dr. Khoury said. Patients are categorized into three specific risk categories and then treatment options are evaluated based on the risk.
On the academic front, Dr. Khoury and his colleagues are involved in multiple research projects, including one project for children born without a functioning bladder that involves bladder reconstruction using cell culture techniques. “We’re working on developing this in the lab and hoping to take this to clinical application in a few years. We’ve had three publications on that already. That work has won research prizes at national and international meetings,” he said.
Dr. Khoury’s pediatric urology colleagues and research associates include Dr. Gordon A. McLorie, Dr. Irene McAleer and Dr. Elias Wehbi. All three also have extensive academic and research credentials.
The CHOC Children’s Urology Center is a state-of-the-art, one-stop facility where children with urological issues are tested, diagnosed and treated all in one place, without having to make multiple visits to different physicians and labs. CHOC’s highly specialized physicians diagnose and treat a wide range of urological conditions, including:
• Ureteral reflux, in which urine flows the wrong way
• Bladder and urinary tract infections
• Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), incontinence or loss of bladder control
• Kidney stones
• Tumors of the kidney, bladder or testes
• Neurogenic conditions caused by birth defects like spina bifida
• Genital anomalies
• Perinatal urology
To learn more about Dr. Khoury and the CHOC Children’s Urology Center, please click here: http://www.choc.org/urology/index.cfm?id=P00973