Your child isn’t a small adult, especially when it comes to conditions affecting the kidneys, ureter, bladder, urethra, penis and testes. A child’s genitourinary system (reproductive system and urinary tract) is still growing and developing. Our pediatric urologists are qualified to care for conditions in pediatric urology — and are committed to providing the least invasive treatments available.
Pediatric urological conditions can affect more than one part of the urinary system, but can be divided into kidney (renal) and bladder conditions, and genital conditions. Below are some of the conditions that Nemours urologists treat.
Kidney and Bladder conditions include:
- hydronephrosis: dilation or stretching of the kidney pelvis which is at the top of the ureter, the tube that drains urine from the kidney
- daytime voiding dysfunction and bedwetting (enuresis), including urgency and frequency
- kidney and bladder stones: when chemicals in the urine crystallize into "stones" in the urinary tract
- neurogenic bladder: abnormal function of the bladder due to disease of the central nervous system or peripheral nerves
- urinary tract infections (UTI): which can affect the lower tract, or bladder, or the upper tract, the kidneys
- urinary tract obstruction: any blockage of urine flow along the urinary tract
- vesicoureteral reflux (VUR): the abnormal flow of urine from the bladder back into the ureter
Genital conditions include:
- ambiguous genitalia: a birth defect where the outer genitals do not have the typical appearance of either a boy or a girl
- hydrocele: a buildup of fluid in the scrotum around the testis
- hypospadias: when the opening that carries urine out of the body from the penis is on the underside, rather than at the tip, of the penis
- inguinal hernia: when an organ, usually a part of the intestine, protrudes through the abdominal wall into the groin area
- meatal stenosis: a narrowing of the opening of the urethra, the tube through which urine leaves the body
- testicular torsion: the twisting of the spermatic cord, which cuts off the blood supply to the testis
- undescended testes: when the testes, which form inside the abdomen, fail to move down into the scrotum
- varicoceles: an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum caused by blocked blood flow
Often there are several treatment options for urological conditions and our pediatric urology specialists will give you all the information you need and answer any questions, so you can feel confident about the option you choose.
Special Testing for Children’s Urological Problems
We offer a full range of diagnostic techniques, including:
- comprehensive urodynamic studies (tests that show how well the bladder and urethra are storing and releasing urine)
- noninvasive (without the placement of a catheter) urine flow studies (which evaluate the rate and volume of your child’s urine flow)
- voiding cystourethrograms or VCUG (a “real-time” X-ray exam done with fluoroscopy performed as the bladder is emptying)
- ultrasound and endoscopy (using a tiny scope to see inside the urinary tract)
Minimally Invasive Surgical Expertise
If your child needs surgery for a urologic condition, you can take comfort in knowing that Nemours urologic surgeons are highly skilled and offer expertise in minimally invasive procedures. These procedures are performed using smaller incisions or a child’s natural openings, which can result in less scarring, faster healing time, fewer infections and less pain for your child.
Depending on the procedure and the location where your child receives care, minimally invasive procedures available may include laparoscopic techniques (the use of a scope and sometimes other instruments to diagnose, inspect, and/or treat a problem) or robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery (in which surgeons use a robot to assist in performing very precise movements through small openings or ports in the body).