Vesicoureteral Reflux: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
A medical condition characterised by an abnormal flow of urine, Vesicoureteral Reflux is quite common in infants and young children. It mainly results in the backward flow of urine, from the bladder to one or both ureters and the kidneys in a few cases.
Vesicoureteral Reflux makes one prone to a number of urinary tract infections which can further cause severe kidney damage, warn health experts.
It is quite common in children, with an estimate of 10 in every 100 healthy children suffering from VUR, but can happen at any age. Though, a non-contagious medical condition, it can be inherited from parents. For instance, if a mother has been diagnosed with VUR, her children are also likely to suffer from this condition.
The disorder can either be primary or secondary. The former is characterised by a birth defect in the valve, resulting in the abnormal flow of urine. Though it is discovered at birth, no surgical intervention can be performed until the child is at least a few months old.
Secondary vesicoureteral reflux is caused due to a urinary tract malfunction, mainly a result of the abnormally high pressure inside the bladder. If left untreated, the condition can lead to severe kidney damage and infection, due to bacteria growth in the trapped urine.
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Symptoms of Vesicoureteral Reflux
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure
- Dribbling urine, incontinence, and bed-wetting
- Blood in the urine
- Cloudy urine
- Urgency to urinate
- A burning sensation or pain when urinating
Urinalysis, a test based on urine sample, is commonly used in the diagnosis of VUR. Other tests options include:
- Kidney and bladder ultrasound
- Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)
- Nuclear scan
Treatment of Vesicoureteral Reflux depends upon the severity of the condition. It includes medication or surgery (Open surgery, Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, and Endoscopic surgery) for preventing kidney damage.