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Vesicoureteral Reflux

Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is a common condition found in children after urinary tract infections (UTI) or during work up for kidney-bladder abnormal findings by fetal ultrasound. The term (VUR) means that some of the urine flows backwards from the bladder to the kidneys when the bladder is full or the child is urinating. VUR does not cause UTI’s but does allow a simple bladder infection to become a more serious kidney infection. Kidney infections often cause fevers and may lead to scarring of the kidneys. VUR is confirmed by a bladder x-ray test called a Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG). VUR varies in degree from 1 to 5 and may involve only one kidney or both. A kidney ultrasound is also usually done with the VCUG to look for scarring or obstruction.

VUR may be treated by one of the following treatment options:

  • Observation-No specific treatment. Watch for UTI’s and treat them as they occur.
  • A daily prophylactic antibiotic to try to reduce the incidence of UTI’s to allow the VUR to resolve by its self as the child grows.
  • A surgical option is the subureteric injection of a material called Deflux. This is a relatively non-invasive outpatient procedure to stop reflux. The procedure involves passing a small telescope through the urethra into the bladder and injecting the Deflux material where the urine enters the bladder from the kidney. The child is under a general anesthetic for the procedure. No cutting or sewing is involved. The child may resume their normal activities the next day.
  • Open surgical correction of the reflux. This is a time honored alternative for some children with a very high success rate. It has met the test of time.

Our pediatric urologist have over 67 combined years of experience with VUR and the various treatments. They will review the various merits of each treatment with you. The treatments will vary depending on the age, severity of the reflux, number of UTI’s, sex of the child, bladder control issues, and other factors.