About Pediatric Urology
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What is Pediatric Urology?
Pediatric urology is the branch of medicine that deals with the disorders of children's urinary tract systems and reproductive organs. Pediatric urologists focus on the special needs of children, which are sometimes, potentially sensitive and embarrassing-related to genitalia and voiding problems. They often use equipment specially designed for children; which makes them relaxed and cooperative.
What kind of training do pediatric urologists have?
Pediatric urologists have at least four years of medical school, one year of surgical internship, a minimum of three additional years of residency training in general urology and an additional year of fellowship training in pediatric urology. A pediatric urologist must devote at least half of their practice to the urologic problems of infants, children, and adolescents.
Pediatric Urology Conditions
There are a variety of pediatric urology conditions involving the genital and urinary tracts. Most times, these are present at birth and diagnosed as early as prenatally or in infancy. As such, they are treated and resolved early in life, sometimes through surgical reconstruction. However, the condition is sometimes acquired during childhood.
Urinary tract infection – This condition occurs more frequently in girls than in boys. It is characterized by a change in urinary patterns, blood in the urine or an unusual odor to the urine.
Hydrocele – This occurs when fluid accumulates in the scrotal sac.
Antenatal hydronephrosis – This condition occurs when the kidney enlarges due to the fluid prior to birth, typically diagnosed with prenatal ultrasound.
Undescended testes – This is a condition in which at least one testicle fails move into the scrotal sac as the male fetus develops; in many cases, this is resolved on its own, during the first year of life.
Neurogenic bladder – It is a disorder which results from interference in the nerve pathways that send signals to the bladder regarding urination.
Vesicoureteral reflux – This is a condition often diagnosed during a prenatal ultrasound or after a urinary tract infection, in which urine from the bladder backs up into the ureter.
Hernia – This is when an organ is displaced and protrudes through the tissues a weakened area.
Hypospadias – It is a congenital condition, in which the opening of the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the body) is on the underside of the penis rather than at the tip. It is usually diagnosed during infancy.
Nocturnal enuresis – It is bedwetting beyond the age at which a child would be expected to remain dry. It is believed to be caused by a developmental delay in the bladder and usually something that a child outgrows.
Spina bifida – This occurs during fetal development when a neural tube defect in which the tissue surrounding the spinal cord fails to close properly.
Ureteropelvic junction obstruction – This is blockage of the flow of urine in the area where the ureter meets the kidney.
Hydronephrosis – This is a condition where an obstruction in the urinary tract causes swelling of the kidneys.
Treatments for pediatric urology conditions are customized to each child’s unique needs. Treatments include medical management, behavioral modification, and surgery. When surgery is required, minimally invasive techniques and robotic-assisted surgery are used. This ensures minimum pain, scarring and recovery time.
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