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Overview. Pediatric urology conditions include a wide range of conditions involving the genital and urinary tracts. Often these are congenital (present at birth) and diagnosed as early as prenatally or in infancy; in many cases, they are treated and resolved early in life, sometimes through surgical reconstruction. Other times, the conditions are acquired during childhood.
Conditions. The most common condition seen by pediatric urologists is a urinary tract infection, which occurs more frequently in girls than in boys. An estimated 1-2 percent of children develop a UTI, characterized by blood in the urine, an unusual odor to the urine, or a change in urinary patterns. Other common conditions include:
- antenatal hydronephrosis – a fluid-filled enlargement of the kidney prior to birth, typically diagnosed with prenatal ultrasound
- hernia – a protrusion of all or part of an organ or tissue through a weakened area
- hydrocele – an accumulation of fluid that can occur in the scrotal sac
- hydronephrosis – swelling of the kidneys caused by obstruction in the urinary tract
- hypospadias – a congenital condition, usually diagnosed during infancy, 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
- neurogenic bladder – a disorder resulting from interference in the normal nerve pathways that send signals to the bladder regarding urination
- nocturnal enuresis – bedwetting beyond the age at which a child would be expected to remain dry – believed to be caused by a developmental delay in the bladder and usually something the child outgrows
- spina bifida – a neural tube defect in which the tissue surrounding the spinal cord fails to close properly during fetal development
- undescended testes – a condition in which at least one testicle fails move into the scrotal sac as the male fetus develops (in most cases, this is resolved on its own in the first year of life)
- ureteropelvic junction obstruction – blockage of the flow of urine in the area where the ureter meets the kidney
- vesicoureteral reflux – a condition in which urine from the bladder backs up into the ureter, often diagnosed during prenatal ultrasound or after a urinary tract infection
For more detailed information about Pediatric Urology conditions treated at UCLA, please see Pediatric program>