Neera K. Dahl, MD, PhD, is a nephrologist who specializes in kidney stones and kidney disease with an emphasis on genetic disorders.
For kidney stone care, Dr. Dahl is part of a multidisciplinary clinic with Yale Medicine Urology. “Patients meet with me, a urologist and a dietician to develop a plan for medical, surgical and nutritional care,” she explains.
Dr. Dahl says she likes working with her kidney stone patients because lifestyle modification can help manage the disease. “There are many dietary interventions that help; enabling patients be proactive about their care by educating them is rewarding,” she says.
Another large part of her practice is managing patients with adult-onset autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), which causes cysts in the kidneys and can eventually lead to end stage kidney disease. It affects about one in 500 people and is the most common form of genetic kidney disease.
Because the condition is hereditary, Dr. Dahl says she may take care of multiple generations of the same family. “I treat parents and kids and sometimes grandkids. We discuss issues that can impact the entire family, and I often watching families growing up,” she says. “I enjoy those long-term relationships.”
Some ADPKD patients will go on to develop end-stage kidney disease in their 50s and others in their 70s, Dr. Dahl says. “The first step is figuring out who is at risk of early progression and tailoring the treatment,” she says. “At Yale we have unique is access to state-of-the-art, comprehensive genetic testing. We have the expertise to review complex genetic findings.”
ADPKD is a systemic disease, causing cysts in the liver and sometimes aneurysms in the brain. There are many specialists at Yale Medicine ready to treat these complex conditions. “Whether patients are worried about passing the disease to their kids or are approaching the need for transplant or have issues with chronic pain, we have neurosurgeons, genetic counselors, and many experts here at Yale to help,” she says. “In addition patients have access to internationally recognized ADPKD researchers and may participate in ongoing clinical trials.”
Sometimes, patients may have a kidney specialist outside of Yale, and that is fine, too, Dr. Dahl points out. “If they already have a nephrologist, we provide care collaboratively, and we can do so much via telehealth,” she says.
Years In Practice
Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale Medicine