Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) Treatment

VUR Treatment in Children

Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) is a health condition where the urine doesn’t flow outside; instead it flows inwards through the ureters and can often travel all the way back up to the kidneys. It is often a birth defect in children, often caused alongside neural tube defects or other problems in the urinary tract. 

Vur is a quite common condition affecting 1-3% of all children born worldwide. They are easily treatable and do not pose any complications in the future.

What Causes VUR?

The urethra or the pee-hole is a valve that only opens in one direction – outwards. Just after a child is born, there may be some structural anomaly that causes the valve to malfunction, causing primary vesicoureteral reflux. This type of VUR is mostly genetically predisposed, meaning it runs in the family.

The secondary vesicoureteral reflux is not caused by a faulty urethra but by a faulty bladder. In this case, the muscles or the nerves malfunction due to which the bladder doesn’t empty completely and the remaining urine flows the wrong way.

VUR is more common in girls than in boys, except for the ones that are born with this condition.

What Are The Symptoms Of VUR?

The symptoms of VUR arise from the resulting infection. Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Cloudy urine
  • Persistent urge to pee
  • Passing urine in small quantities but frequently
  • Bed-wetting
  • Constipation
  • Loss of control of bowel movement
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Poor weight gain

Dr. Mallikarjuna Reddy explains, “These symptoms seem to overlap with other health issues in the excretory system as well. So, refrain from self-diagnosing or self-treating your child and seek medical care immediately.” Delay in proper treatment can lead to severe damage in the kidneys, including kidney failure.

How Is VUR Treated?

When you consult the doctor, you will be asked to get a few tests and scans done. These will help the doctor identify the type of VUR the kid has and access the extent of damage it has already caused. The common scans are bladder and kidney ultrasound along with a special X-ray of the urinary tract, called the voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG). This diagnosis is important to devise a customized treatment plan that will help the child recover in the best possible way.

If the condition is only mild )Grade 1-3), the first course of treatment is observation – wait and see if the organ heals itself. This will require regular tests along with a steady course of antibiotics that would ensure that the kidney doesn’t get infected.

However, if the condition is more severe (Grade 4-5), a laparoscopic surgery can be used to repair the valve. Laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique that requires very small incisions, resulting in very limited blood loss and much faster recovery time. The same surgical procedure can also be used to remove any damaged tissue from the kidney or the bladder. 

Post surgery, a course or antibiotics, painkillers, and hot compressions are needed to ensure smooth recovery. Usually, the child can resume his regular life within 10 days after the procedure. To prevent any future complications and ensure prolonged good health, adopt a kidney-friendly diet, drink plenty of fluids, and go to the bathroom whenever there is an urge to pee.