Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) Treatment in Alpharetta, GA
What Is Vesicoureteral Reflux?
The urinary tract is comprised of the bladder, urethra, two ureters and two kidneys, and is responsible for the production, storage and removal of urine. In a functioning urinary tract, urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters to the bladder where it is stored until it is released through the urethra. When a condition known as vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) occurs, urine refluxes (flows back) from the bladder to the kidneys.
VUR is normally diagnosed in children or infants and is the result of a birth defect or infection. VUR may affect only one ureter and kidney (unilateral reflux), or affect both ureters and kidneys (bilateral reflux).
At least 10 percent of all children experience vesicoureteral reflux. If left untreated, VUR can cause permanent kidney damage. If your child is experiencing frequent urinary tract infections, high fever that cannot be explained or changes in mood or appetite, it is important to schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare practitioner in Alpharetta who specializes in vesicoureteral reflux treatment. Call (770) 674-6311 or contact Dr. Gail Ravello online.
Types of Vesicoureteral Reflux
There are two types of vesicoureteral reflux, primary and secondary:
- Primary vesicoureteral reflux occurs when children are born with a defect in the valve that normally prevents urine from flowing backwards from the bladder into the ureter then kidneys.
- Secondary vesicoureteral reflux involves blockage or malfunction often due to frequent urinary tract infections. Secondary VUR can also be caused by nerve damage or pressure from another organ pushing on the ureter.
There is a hereditary component to the disease and siblings with a child or parent who suffers from VUR are more likely to develop the condition.
Vesicoureteral Reflux Symptoms
The most common symptom that heralds the presence of VUR is frequent urinary tract infections . Unfortunately, children and infants often do not understand when they develop a UTI, so it is important to look for and ask them about the following UTI symptoms:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Avoiding urination to avoid burning sensation
- Urine with a strong or unusual smell
- Frequent urination
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Blood in urine
- Pain in abdomen, lower back or side
- Nausea or vomiting, especially forceful vomiting
Additional vesicoureteral reflux symptoms in infants may include:
- Irritability or fussiness
- Low appetite
Older children may exhibit the following symptoms of untreated vesicoureteral reflux:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Proteins in urine
- High blood pressure
- Kidney failure
How to Diagnose Vesicoureteral Reflux & VUR Grading
A urinalysis will help your healthcare provider determine if a UTI is causing your child’s symptoms. However, to diagnose vesicoureteral reflux, additional tests will likely be employed, including:
- Abdominal ultrasound to detect structure abnormalities within the urinary tract system
- RNC (radionuclide cystogram), a nuclear scan that follows radioactive material as it moves through the urinary tract to establish if the system is functioning properly
- Voiding cystouorethrogram (VCUG), a special x-ray of the bladder and urethra that is taken while the bladder is full and while its emptying to establish if the system is functioning properly
Once your healthcare practitioner arrives at a vesicoureteral reflux diagnosis, he or she will grade the condition based on its severity. Vesicoureteral reflux grading will help determine the course of treatment most suitable for your child.
Vesicoureteral Reflux Treatments
In mild VUR cases, many children simply outgrow the condition (most common in low-grade primary VUR), and treatment will only involve ongoing monitoring of its severity.
If your child’s VUR is considered more severe, treatment can range from medication to surgery. The key to treating vesicoureteral reflux—no matter how the condition originated—is identifying it early to prevent kidney damage. These potential vesicoureteral reflux treatments include:
- Antibiotics (including IV antibiotics) to fight infection
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Medications to stabilize blood pressure
- Intermittent catheterization
- Dialysis if kidney infection becomes impaired
- VUR surgery (open or endoscopic) to correct valve defect, blockage or source of malfunction
Deflux injections are an alternative to other types of corrective surgery. A liquid gel-like substance is injected into the bladder wall near the ureter opening, creating a bulge in the tissue that blocks urine from backing up into the ureter, so it never makes it back to the kidneys. Deflux injections require general anesthesia, but because they are done on an outpatient basis and require no incision, children do not require hospitalization and can return home the same day.
If your child is suffering with the symptoms of vesicoureteral reflux, it is essential that you seek the guidance of an experienced, professional healthcare provider to properly diagnose and treat the condition and avoid permanent kidney damage. Request more information today about vesicoureteral reflux today. Call (770) 674-6311 or contact Dr. Gail Ravello online.
Natural Medical Solutions Wellness Center
Address1130 Upper Hembree Rd.
Roswell, GA 30076
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