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Pediatric Urology Fact Sheet

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What is urology?

Urology is the treatment of disorders of the urinary tract or urogenital system.

What is pediatric urology?

Pediatric urology is the diagnosis and treatment of urological conditions and diseases that are either present at birth or developed during the growth of a child. Treatment covers the male reproductive tract, and male and female urinary tracts. Most children under the care of a pediatric urologist are school-aged or younger.

Common conditions treated

One of the most common conditions treated is a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs are most common in young girls, and pediatric urological conditions are usually developed at birth and treated at a young age.

Other common conditions treated:

  • Abnormally located urethral opening (hypospadias)
  • Backup of urine from the bladder into the ureter (vesicoureteral reflux VUR)
  • Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)
  • Distention of the kidney while in the womb (antenatal hydronephrosis)

What is a pediatric urological examination?

A pediatric urological exam to diagnose the problem includes a medical history and a comprehensive physical examination. A small tube called a urinary catheter may be inserted into the bladder through the urethra to withdraw urine for testing.

Other documentation recorded will be a history of:

  • Symptoms
  • Illnesses
  • Injuries
  • Medications
  • Prenatal ultrasound
  • Family medical

Diagnostic tests can include:

  • Blood tests
  • Cystometrogram – Measures bladder pressure at various stages of filling
  • Cystoscopy – An examination of the bladder and ureter
  • Intravenous pyelogram – A series of X-rays of the ureter and renal pelvis taken after injecting a contrast agent
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – An MRI scan
  • Renal scan
  • Ultrasound – To detect blockage in the urinary tract
  • Urinalysis and urine culture – To detect a UTI
  • Urodynamic studies – Measures the storage and rate of movement of urine from the bladder
  • Uroflowmetry – Measures urine flow
  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) – Used to observe the urinary tract before, during and after urination
    Source: HealthCommunities.com 

Common conditions treated

UK HealthCare has a dedicated pediatric urologist treating patients up to age 18. The specialist performs genitourinary reconstruction and treats the common conditions listed above.

The pediatric urology team treats 

  • Hypospadias – A birth defect where the opening of the urethra is on the underside.
  • Undescended testicles – Some testicles do not come fully down into the scrotum. Some remain in the abdomen while others stop at some point along the normal tract to the scrotum. If noticed in infancy there is the possibility the testicle may descend on its own, if not it may need surgery to bring it down.
  • Urinary reflux – Backup of urine from the bladder into the ureter.
  • Renal anomalies – A dilation of the kidney' s urine collection system most likely caused by a blockage in the tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder.
  • Spinal defects such as spina bifida – children whose spinal cord did not close the way it should have. This means the bladder does not squeeze effectively and therefore does not completely empty. It also means children are often incontinent and have urine leakage. This can lead to urinary tract infections and possibly affect the kidneys.
  • Renal trauma – Accidents that cause injury to the kidneys or the bladder.
  • Tumors in the kidney or bladder –These are rare, but will require surgery. The most common kidney tumor in children is a Wilms' tumor, a type of cancer.

The UK Transplant Center

 Pediatric urology participates in evaluation and surgical procedures as a member of the team that performs pediatric kidney transplants.

For more information or to book an appointment, call 1-800-333-8874 (toll-free) or visit ukhealthcare.uky.edu.

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Page last updated: 10/16/2013 4:11:29 PM

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