Key Information Surrounding What’s Included In Pediatric Urology
Most talks centered around Urology pertain to complications in the urinary tract and genitals in adults, but many of these same issues can be found in children as well.
This is where pediatric urology comes in, and it offers a specific set of evaluations, treatment, and management options that are suitable for kids.
One of the most commonly found urological health issues in children is urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Of course, this isn’t the only trouble children go through regarding urological conditions, and symptoms can be severe enough to require hospital treatment.
For a clear look at what’s included in the practice of pediatric urology, this article will highlight many important notes surrounding the ins and outs of the topic.
What’s Different About Pediatric Urology?
Simply put, this aspect of urology focuses on children and comes with a unique approach to diagnosis, treatment, and many other aspects.
Doctors who work in this particular medical field include a number of specialties.
Besides the fact this type of urology deals with children, many common urological conditions can be treated in a similar fashion to adults.
You can find a brief look at some of the specialties that are included in pediatric urology below.
Different Types of Specialities
From minimally invasive to robotic surgeries and more complex reconstructive methods, pediatric urologists can offer multiple solutions to each child’s specific needs.
Many approaches are highly customized, considering the sensitive nature of a children’s developing body.
Nevertheless, through collaboration with numerous medical professionals and the parents of such children, many treatments are determined to be highly successful.
This approach generally caters to congenital and acquired defects, and the reconstruction aspect of this specialty is handled through surgery. It also includes a complete treatment plan for the child regarding the surgery and the recovery process that comes after.
Another health issue that’s common in many adults, children can also encounter kidney stones. They’re actually known for a high rate of occurrence and can be extremely painful, whether small or large.
Doctors have multiple solutions available for treating or managing kidney stones and offering preventative plans for their future health.
The prevalence of kidney stones can be monitored with the help of low-dose CT scans.
Exposure to radiation is a concern for young children, and this procedure reduces exposure by 87% compared to standard CT scans offered to adults.
Pertaining to an overactive or underactive bladder, neurogenic bladder is commonly associated with the peripheral nerves and central nervous system. If left untreated, neurogenic bladder can lead to urinary accidents and infections, potentially harming kidneys in the long term.
Sexual Development Disorders
It isn’t so uncommon for children to face health complications regarding their reproductive system and external genitalia. Although a number of health conditions can be associated with these areas, it’s usually a job handled by an experienced pediatric urologist.
Diagnosis and treatment of such health concerns also usually include the participation of numerous urological specialists.
There are a handful of primary health concerns when it comes to pediatric urology, but such urologists are also capable of looking into a variety of other health concerns in children.
It’s a field of medicine that considers many sensitive aspects of a developing human body and requires a unique and customized approach in most circumstances.
The Range of Pediatric Urologists
Many children can’t handle a cookie-cutter approach to treatment, regardless of the field of medicine in question. With pediatric urology, each child’s circumstance can be extremely unique, and their symptoms can vary greatly.
When you take into account that roughly 8% of girls and around 2% of boys encounter at least one UTI by five years, it becomes evident why pediatric urologists are so important.
Although a single UTI may not pose a cause for great concern, more than one warrants a visit with a pediatric urologist. Other health conditions related to pediatric urology include those listed below.
Research estimates that nearly 10% of healthy children encounter this health complication. Vesicoureteral reflux is when urine travels backward from the bladder and heads toward the kidney.
This can generate a number of mild to severe health problems in children, and roughly ¾ of children that receive treatment for vesicoureteral reflex are girls.
A common defect that’s found in ultrasounds during pregnancy, prenatal hydronephrosis clearly happens at a very early stage in a child’s life. It pertains to the swelling of the kidney that occurs due to a backup of urine.
It isn’t extremely common, but it’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked by any means.
Pediatric urologists are also a reliable source for the treatment of hernias. These are a section of the intestine that happens to protrude through a particular area of the stomach muscle.
The development of hernias generally occurs near the groin area or even the belly button.
This particular health complication in boys is found in roughly three or four out of one hundred newborns. Although there’s a chance this issue will resolve itself on its own with time, around one or two of these boys will need medical treatment to resolve it.
The variety of specialties and education involved in pediatric urology is merely one part of the puzzle.
Many people would be interested to learn that the list of treatments related to this type of medicine is extremely vast.
Available Treatment Options
There are so many unique treatments available in pediatric urology that there’s no way to list them all, but some are a hot topic in modern treatments and research as well. This note is important as children require a sensitive approach to treatment.
One modern development in pediatric urology that has brought a lot of attention over the years is robotic surgery.
There are many procedures associated with such robotic surgeries. Many consider extirpative and reconstructive surgeries, including reimplantation, pyeloplasty, augmentation, and catheterizable channels.
This isn’t to say there aren’t complications associated with robotic surgery, but it’s a treatment option many parents and doctors like due to its customizability and efficacy.
Below, you can find many common treatments that pediatric urologists are capable of providing.
- Bladder neck reconstruction
- Urodynamic testing
- Kidney surgery
- Continent urostomy
- Excision of posterior urethral valves
- Inguinal hernia repair
Merely a gist of what’s possible with the help of a pediatric urologist, treatment solutions for children are vast and highly customizable. This puts a lot of parents’ concerns at ease.
Even if a child’s urological condition is mild or severe, pediatric urologists have a solution available every step of the way.
Research plays a heavy role in the modern developments of pediatric urology, which has increased the quality of life for many children globally. It’s crucial to understand the history of this field of medicine, as it’s comprised of 60 years of education and ongoing research.
Research for the Sake of Urological Health Conditions
For over half a decade, pediatric urology has continued to evolve and includes a combination of pediatric surgery and urology plastic surgery. It’s known that low and middle-income countries are more susceptible to pediatric urology health complications.
This is primarily due to a limited number of surgeons and surgical care systems that are highly underfunded.
Many of these issues aren’t found in developed countries, but many children born in less developed nations are bound to face increased risk with urological conditions.
Issues like these are why it’s vital that research continues on a global scale and also shines a light on the necessity for global health programs in pediatric urology.
With a focus on congenital anomalies and pediatric surgical fields, global outreach programs are focusing on advancements in pediatric urology all over the world.
Implementing key guidelines in pediatric urology is still needed in many nations worldwide, and it requires collaboration between visiting and local healthcare professionals.
Many industry experts are focused on sustainable care models for pediatric urology, which include treatments and management procedures that can be utilized worldwide.
There’s no question that research is ongoing, but even with modern advancements, these benefits aren’t reaching every child who needs them.
The Bottom Line
Medical professionals working in pediatric urology are capable of a wide variety of services for children in different stages of life. They play an essential role for the children, parents, and even women who are working through pregnancy.
It’s a rapidly evolving medical specialty, and this article highlights the current state of pediatric urology and what’s currently possible with diagnosis, treatment, and management of related health conditions.