What is Pediatric Urology?
Urology is a surgical specialty that focuses on the medical and surgical diseases of the genitourinary tract. Pediatric urology is that portion of urology which focuses on urologic problems in patients younger than 18 years, though pediatric urologists frequently treat adults with congenital problems or reconstructive issues that are normally repaired by a pediatric urologist. Women with isolated genital tract problems are usually treated by gynecologists. Pediatric urologists are frequently asked by gynecologists to treat prepubescent females with genital tract issues. A large proportion of surgical problems in children involve the genitourinary tract, so there is some crossover with general surgeons who treat children, as well as with gynecologists who treat children. Our patients also include fetuses who have problems diagnosed prenatally by ultrasound.
Some of the problems we see are congenital, that is, conditions present at the time of birth. This would include malformations of the genitalia such as hypospadias and undescended testicles, malformations of the kidneys, urinary reflux, or obstructions within the urinary tract. Some of the diseases we see are acquired during life, such as kidney stones, tumors, or infections. Because pediatric urology also encompasses pre-adolescent gynecology, we commonly see disorders of the vagina and vulva in girls.
A large portion of pediatric urology is the treatment of bladder dysfunction, either congenital (neurogenic bladder), or acquired (learned bladder dysfunction). Bladder dysfunction can keep a child in wet pants or diapers, and it is our job to help your child become dry. This can achieved through behavioral techniques, medications, surgery, or a combination of any of those three modalities. Chronic constipation frequently accompanies these disorders, and we have very successful methods of treating that problem today.
Click on the I’m Dry! Center to learn more about how we treat children with bowel and bladder problems.