Pediatric urology is the diagnosis and treatment of urological conditions in kids. Typically, children have different problems than adults when it comes to their urinary systems. Often, these are congenital problems, which are problems present at birth, rather than problems due to injury.
Congenital problems treated by pediatric urology typically include birth defects surrounding the bladder, the male reproductive organs, or the urethra. Examples include undescended testicles, deformities of the kidneys, urethra, or ureters, or ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Ureteropelvic junction obstruction occurs when something obstructs the connection between the kidneys and the ureter, making it difficult to completely remove artery from the body. Each of these conditions requires intervention, and some can be life threatening, which means intervention with a specialist is vital.
These conditions often require surgery to correct so the child can live a normal, healthy life. Often, surgeries are scheduled in the early years, even during infancy. This allows the child to grow and develop normally without the stigma associated with urinary disorders.
Some conditions are not congenital. They may occur as the child develops if he or she does not grow properly. They may be behavioral, like chronic bed-wetting. They may develop because of infections. These are some of the common conditions treated in pediatric urology.
Sometimes children develop chronic urinary tract infections. This can occur in up to six percent of girls and two percent of boys. Because urinary tract infections are more likely to cause kidney damage and infections in children, it is cruel to treat them quickly, and also find out what is causing them if the infections become chronic.
Children may also struggle with bladder fistula. This occurs when the bladder connects to another organ or the skin in a way that it should not. This can cause frequent urinary tract infections, and is treated through a fairly routine surgery.
Pediatric urologists also treat pediatric problem problems, such as cysts or kidney failure. Urinary tract cancers also fall into the realm of pediatric urology.
Choosing a Doctor
When dealing with the urinary and reproductive systems, children often feel uncomfortable with a doctor. For this reason, you need to find a urologist who is not only experienced with working with children, but if possible specializes in working with kids. This ensures that they know how to help children overcome their discomfort and embarrassment, and also gives you confidence that they relate well to the fears and expectations of the youngest patients.
If you have friends who have seen a pediatric urologist, ask them about the doctor they used. If you do not, use review websites to find a doctor in your area that has a good reputation. You also may be able to get a referral through your pediatrician, who can recommend a pediatric urology specialist that he or she respects. With these resources, you can find the best doctor to get the help you need for your child.