Like adults, many children can have urological health challenges. Yet treating pediatric urology conditions looks very different and requires special knowledge and training.
At Rio Grande Urology, Dr. Alfonso Latiff brings his expertise in pediatric urology to ensure children will receive the care they need to support their overall health and growth.
“Part of what we do at RGU is educate the pediatric community about what the problems are and when they need to be referred,” said Dr. Latiff. He explained that the field is constantly evolving as research and technology improves. “You have to stay up-to-date in the management of taking care of children. For example, in the past, some problems would only be resolved with surgery. Today, that’s the last option.”
Urological conditions in children can sometimes be congenital (present at birth) and may be diagnosed during infancy or even prenatally. Other urological conditions may be acquired during childhood. Whenever a condition presents itself, the most important thing to do is connect with a pediatric urologist like Dr. Latiff right away. As children are going through their most significant years of growth and development, early diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment can be essential in minimizing the risk of more extensive urology issues.
Here are five common pediatric urology conditions, what you need to know, and when to seek treatment with a pediatric urologist.
One of the most common pediatric urology conditions, Hydronephrosis, occurs when urine collects in the kidney. It can lead to enlargement or swelling of the kidney. It is typically identified on fetal ultrasounds performed during pregnancy. Once identified, it can be closely monitored by a pediatric urologist to determine the best course of treatment, which may be antibiotics or surgery in more serious cases.
Hypospadias is the incomplete formation of the urethra in male babies. When this condition occurs, the opening of the urethra — the tube through which urine exits the body — may be found on the underside of the penis or further back, rather than the tip of the penis. Depending on the child’s specific situation, this may be corrected during infancy or later in life. It’s important to monitor this condition closely with a pediatric urologist to ensure the procedure is done at a time when it’s best for the child’s urological health and development.
3. Neurogenic Bladder
Children with spinal cord conditions may experience a neurogenic bladder, which affects how the bladder stores and empties urine. Children with this condition should be closely monitored by a pediatric urologist from the time they are born to help evaluate and optimize bladder control and prevent future urinary tract issues.
4. Undescended Testicle
This occurs in male babies when the testis stays up in the body and doesn’t descend into the scrotum. Many times, it can descend on its own within a few months of birth. If it doesn’t, a pediatric urologist can perform a surgical procedure to help move the testis into place.
5. Urinary Tract Infection
Like adults, children can also get urinary tract infections (UTI). And like adults, it’s important to get UTIs treated right away. If a child gets a fever along with their UTI, or has recurring UTIs, it could be the result of structural abnormalities in the kidneys or bladder. A pediatric urologist can check for causes and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include surgery to prevent further urological conditions.
These are just a few examples of common pediatric urology conditions that RGU treats from birth to young adulthood. Additionally, our skilled, caring pediatric team is credentialed to treat and perform surgery at both El Paso Children’s Hospital and The Hospitals of Providence Children’s Hospital.
If your child is in need of a urologist, contact us today to schedule a consultation.