Posterior Urethal Valves (Pediatric)
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What are posterior urethral valves?
Posterior urethral valves can be the most severe urologic condition seen in a fetus. The valves are abnormal leaflets at the beginning of the urethra and partially or completely block the flow of urine out of the bladder. This condition can be a serious problem because the amniotic fluid that protects a developing fetus is made almost entirely of fetal urine. Without this fluid, the chest of a fetus compresses and the lungs do not develop properly. When a fetus has posterior urethral valves, severe hydronephrosis, and low amniotic fluid, our surgeons may insert a stent to drain urine from the obstructed bladder into the amniotic space.
How are posterior urethral valves diagnosed and treated?
We perform a sonogram in all infants born with posterior urethral valves, insert a catheter to drain the bladder, and monitor the condition closely to assess kidney function. Our surgeons perform cystoscopy to look inside the urethra and burn away the abnormal urethral valves. Our surgeons work in tandem with a team of doctors from various pediatric specialties to care for infants with posterior urethral valves.