Pediatric Urology is a surgical subspecialty of medicine dealing with the disorders of children’s genitourinary systems. Pediatric urologists provide care for both boys and girls ranging from birth to early adult age. The most common problems are those involving disorders of urination, reproductive organs and testes.
How common are the problems?
Most people are unaware of the common urological problems of children. This is because they are not often discussed outside the family. Most people have heard of urinary tract infections, but do not know that these infections are associated with anatomical abnormalities in approximately 30% of all children who have them, and even a higher percentage in boys. Among the genital defects, abnormalities of the penis are the most common followed by undescended testicles.
Who cares for Pediatric Urological Problems?
Pediatricians often manage medical problems of the urinary tract and genitalia. Nephrologists are specialists in medical diseases of the kidney, and endocrinologists specialize in endocrine problems affecting the kidneys, like diabetes, and of some problems of the genitalia, like ambiguous genitalia. Patients may be referred to urology after seeing a pediatrician.
Some of the problems deal with are:
- Bladder control problems such as bedwetting and daytime urinary incontinence
- Undescended testes (cryptorchidism)
- Urolithiasis (bladder and kidney stones)
- Chordee and other minor malformations of the penis
- Urinary obstruction and vesicoureteral reflux
- Neurogenic bladder (e.g., associated with spina bifida)
- Antenatal hydronephrosis
- Tumors and cancers of the kidneys
- Repair of genitourinary trauma
- Genitourinary malformations and birth defects
- Prune belly syndrome
- Cloacal exstrophy, bladder exstrophy, and epispadias
- Ambiguous genitalia and intersex conditions