Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Kidney Health

Kidney Health


Kidney Health

Your kidneys are small but mighty organs that play an essential role in keeping you healthy. Kidney health includes the study and treatment of stone disease, as well as the use of minimally invasive surgery and its applications within the genitourinary system.

What Do the Kidneys Do?

Among other functions, kidneys:

  • Remove waste from your blood after digestion and exposure to chemicals
  • Balance water and minerals like sodium and potassium in your blood
  • Produce a substance (renin) that helps your body manage blood pressure
  • Make a form of Vitamin D essential for bone health

What Causes Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease is caused by the lack of blood flow to the kidneys, direct damage to the kidneys, and urine backing up into the kidneys which can cause acute or chronic kidney disease. These problems can happen as a result of a traumatic injury, severe dehydration, a sepsis infection, long standing blockage from an enlarged prostate, complications during pregnancy (eclampsia and pre-eclampsia), or certain drugs or toxins.

In the U.S., the two main causes of kidney failure are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Another common cause is glomerulonephritis, which damages the filtering units of the kidneys, called glomeruli. The cause of glomerulonephritis is unknown—it may be inherited or triggered by an infection.

Another common problem is that of kidney stones, which form when your urine is unable to dilute crystal-forming substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid. There are several different types of kidney stones, and the type helps determine the cause.

Body Column 2: 

Who Is at Increased Risk for Kidney Disease?

  • Anyone with high blood pressure
  • Anyone with diabetes
  • Anyone who is obese (body mass index over 30)
  • Anyone with a family history of kidney failure
  • Anyone age 60 and older

Take Control of Your Kidney Health

Our phsyicians are here to help you understand the causes kidney conditions, types of problems they may cause, and options for nonsurgical as well as surgical management. When surgery is necessary, our expert kidney doctors are proud to provide minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopy and robotic surgery.

Would you like an appointment?

Please call our office at 646-962-9600 to schedule an appointment via phone. Our phone staff are available to help you Monday-Friday, from 9AM-5PM (EST).

If you'd like to learn more about each of our providers that specialize in Kidney Health, please review the Physicians & Faculty profiles listed at the bottom of this page.

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Hematuria (Blood in the urine)

There are two types of hematuria commonly evaluated by a urologist. Blood that can be seen in the urine is called gross hematuria. Blood that cannot...

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Kidney Stones

Kidney stones affect up to 5% of the population, with a lifetime risk of passing a kidney stone at about 8-10%. While more common in warmer southern...

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Physicians & Faculty

Dr. Joseph Del Pizzo, M.D.

Joseph J. Del Pizzo


(646) 962-9600
(646) 962-9600
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, Aetna-NYP-EPO/POS, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, EBCBS Blue Access, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Federal Medicare, NY State Medicaid, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Medicare, United Healthcare Commercial
The LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery

Patrick Samson


Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Amida Care, Blue Priority Network, CIGNA, Emblem Select Care, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fidelis Care, GHI PPO/CBP/Prem PPO (Emblem Exchange Products: Select Care Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Basic), Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid], Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare], Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Medicare], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass, United Empire Plan, United Health Care, United Health Care [Community Plan], Wellcare (Medicare, Medicaid, CHP)
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology - Brooklyn

Alfred Winkler

M.D., M.B.A.

(646) 962-9600
(646) 962-9600
AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Affinity Access, Affinity Health Plan, Amida Care, Blue Priority Network, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS Pathway X, EBCBS Pathway X Enhanced, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Emblem Select Care, Empire BCBS HealthPlus, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), Fidelis Care, GHI, Health First, Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid], Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare], Medicaid, Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Medicare], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], POMCO, Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass, UHC Medicare, United Empire Plan, United Health Care [Community Plan], United Healthcare Commercial, VNSNY CHOICE Medicare, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth

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