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Pediatric Urology


Pediatric Urology

Pediatric urology is the diagnosis and treatment of congenital conditions that are present at birth and acquired urological conditions and diseases in children. Pediatric urologists treat conditions of the male reproductive tract and the male and female urinary tracts. Pediatric urological problems occur more often than most people realize, particularly undescended testes and hernias.

The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, which filter the blood and form urine; the ureters or tubes that carry urine from the kidneys; the bladder, which stores urine until it is voided; and the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder and removes it from the body.

Education/General Information

Children are not just small adults. Children do not or cannot always say what is bothering them or answer medical questions, and they are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a medical examination. They require special care, treatment and even equipment. The most common condition treated by pediatric urologists is urinary tract infection, especially in young girls. Other conditions include:

  • Abnormally located urethral opening (hypospadias)
  • Backup of urine from the bladder into the ureter (vesicoureteral reflux)
  • Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)
  • Bladder exstrophy, or an abnormality of formation of the bladder and the bony pelvis
  • Distention of the kidney in utero (antenatal hydronephrosis)
  • Hernia
  • Hydrocele
  • Tumors of the urinary and genital tracts
  • Undescended testes
  • Ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ obstruction)
  • Urinary obstruction


Pediatric urological conditions are usually congenital and treated at a young age. Some conditions are diagnosed during prenatal ultrasound or during infancy. Similar to adult care, pediatric urological exams begin with a medial history and physical examination. A history of symptoms, illnesses, injuries, medications, prenatal ultrasound and family history are documented. A urinary catheter may be inserted into the bladder through the urethra to withdraw urine.

Diagnostic tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • Cystometrogram, which measures bladder pressure at various stages of filling
  • Cystoscopy, which is an examination of the bladder and ureter
  • Intravenous pyelogram, which is a series of X-rays of the ureter and renal pelvis taken after injecting a contrast agent
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan)
  • Renal scan
  • Ultrasound, often used to detect blockage in the urinary tract
  • Urinalysis and urine culture to detect urinary tract infections
  • Urodynamic studies, which measure the storage and rate of movement of urine from the bladder
  • Uroflowmetry, which measures urine flow
  • Voiding cystourethrogram, used to observe the urinary tract before, during and after urination


Treatment of pediatric urological issues varies depending on the condition. The most common treatment options include:

  • Behavioral modification
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Medication and antibiotics
  • Surgery and reconstruction

With children, it is critically important to continue to monitor and follow up on urological conditions, as their bodies are constantly changing.

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