Urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Ureters have a one-way valve that prevents urine from backing up (called reflux) into the kidneys.
In children with a condition called vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), this process doesn’t work correctly, and urine in the bladder can flow backward, sometimes, back into the kidneys. This fluid can carry bacteria, resulting in frequent kidney infections. Over time, this can lead to kidney damage.
There are two types of VUR:
There also are five grades of VUR based on how severe the condition is, ranging from urine backing up only into the lower ureter (Grade 1), to urine reaching all the way into the kidney, causing a condition known as hydronephrosis and eventual kidney damage (Grade V).
Children with VUR may have symptoms such as:
Many of these symptoms also may be caused by other conditions. If your child has any of these signs, make an appointment with your Mercy Kids pediatrician to find out what’s going on and how to treat it.
Our pediatric urologists specialize in diagnosing, treating and preventing urinary problems. If your child has vesicoureteral reflux, we will develop a personalized treatment plan based on the grade of their VUR, as well as their symptoms, age and overall health.
Mercy pediatric specialists treat our youngest patients with the most advanced techniques and gentle, understanding care. We’ll do our best to resolve your child’s urinary condition and get them back to being a healthy kid.