Spina Bifida Program

UCSF's Spina Bifida Program is one of a few programs in Northern California to offer comprehensive medical support and treatment to infants, children and adolescents with spina bifida and other birth defects involving the spinal cord. In addition, our program provides essential psychosocial support services for patients and families, along with genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis.

In children with spina bifida, an area of the spinal column does not form properly, leaving a section of the spinal cord and spinal nerves exposed through an opening in the back. Myelomeningocele, the most common and serious form of spina bifida, may be treated before birth with fetal surgery. Other forms of spina bifida can be repaired postnatally.

Experts from many areas of health care may be involved in your child's care, including doctors specializing in pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics and physical therapy, as well as experts in nutrition, nursing coordination, social work and school liaisons. These combined efforts are needed to manage the complex array of potential issues in spina bifida including hydrocephalus, bowel and urine incontinence, development and mobility.

Our many experts gather to see each child at a single appointment, rather than asking families to make separate appointments for each type of specialist. Our goal is to create a treatment plan for your child that minimizes disabilities, so your child can lead an active and productive life.

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About the Pediatric Brain Center

The Spina Bifida Program is part of the UCSF Pediatric Brain Center, which brings together doctors from all disciplines related to brain health in children. We are passionate about collaborating with each other, our patients and their families to provide the best possible care for each child.

Our experts are world-class pediatric specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, neurocritical care, neurogenetics, neuro-oncology, rehabilitation, neuroradiology, neuropsychology and psychiatry. By working as a team we are able to reach the right diagnosis and treatment quickly, getting our patients on the road to recovery and bringing peace of mind to parents.

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Please call the number below for information about making an appointment.

Getting Here

Spina Bifida Program
Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3899
Fax: (415) 502-7516

Hours: First and third Friday of the month
1 – 5 p.m.

What to Bring

  • Health insurance information including authorizations or referrals
  • List of your child's prescription medications and dosages
  • List of medications your child is allergic to
  • List of questions you may have
  • Recent test results related to your child's condition
  • Paper and pencil to take notes


Parking at Mission Bay

Public parking options at UCSF's Mission Bay campus include:

Weekdays: $3.75/hour
Daily Maximum: $30/day

More Information

Download a Mission Bay campus map

Public Transportation

UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is accessible via the following Muni bus routes:

  • 22
  • 55
  • T-Third Street line

More Information

(415) 673-6864 (MUNI)
SFMTA website

UCSF Shuttles

Free UCSF shuttles connect the Mission Bay campus with our Mount Zion and Parnassus campuses as well as other UCSF locations and the 16th Street BART station.

More Information

Shuttle routes and timetables
Shuttle system map
Shuttle hotline: (415) 476-4646 (GOGO)

Related Information

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Condition Information

Our Team

Mitul Kapadia
Mitul Kapadia, MD
Pediatric physiatrist
Joyce Harvey
Joyce Harvey, PNP, MSN
Pediatric nurse practitioner
Kurtis Auguste
Kurtis Auguste, MD
Pediatric neurosurgeon
Nalin Gupta
Nalin Gupta, MD, PhD
Pediatric neurosurgeon
Eliana Delgado
Eliana Delgado, MD
Orthopedic surgeon
Kristin Livingston
Kristin Livingston, MD
Pediatric orthopedic surgeon
Laurence S. Baskin
Hillary L. Copp
Hillary L. Copp, MD, MS
Pediatric urologist
Michael DiSandro
Michael DiSandro, MD
Pediatric urologist
Anne Arnhym
Anne Arnhym, PNP, MSN
Pediatric nurse practitioner
Caroline Farless
Caroline Farless, PNP, MSN
Pediatric nurse practitioner
Makiko Omori
Makiko Omori
Stephanie Petruzzi
Stephanie Petruzzi, LCSW, MSW
Pediatric clinical social worker