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Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR): How We Treat

How is VUR treated?

VUR often improves when the junction between the bladder and the ureter develops and gradually increases in length as the child grows. The lower the grade of VUR, the more likely it is to disappear. Treatment usually involves the use of a low dose or prophylactic antibiotic to prevent infection in infants. In potty trained children, a focus is placed on bladder training, and on occasion, additional medication. The goal of treatment is to prevent urinary tract infections and kidney damage from occurring, while normal growth and development allows the VUR to improve or resolve.

Surgical correction is an option for children with a higher grade of VUR and those who continue to have urinary tract infections. The goal of surgical treatment is to cure the reflux. Your healthcare provider will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of surgery.

  • One type of surgical treatment is endoscopic surgery , also known as the deflux procedure. The surgeon will insert an instrument called a cystoscope into the bladder - once inside the bladder, the surgeon will inject a substance into the area where the ureter meets the bladder. This is done to change the angle of the ureter entering the bladder and correct the VUR. This type of treatment is very easy, but not quite as successful as open reimplantation. The child will require general anesthesia for this procedure, but it is an outpatient surgery.
  • Open reimplantation is a surgical treatment that is performed under general anesthesia through an incision in the lower abdomen, or by minimally invasive surgery. The procedure consists of correcting the flap-valve attachment of the ureter to the bladder in order to stop reflux from occurring. No artificial material is used in this procedure. A catheter will be used to drain the bladder for a few days following surgery and the child will have a short recovery stay in the hospital.

Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s VUR?

At Children’s Hospital Colorado we have dedicated specialists in pediatric urology, pediatric radiology and pediatric anesthesia. As a result, our specialists are able to accurately make a diagnosis with the minimum amount of investigations, or intensive testing, necessary. Most frequently, no active treatment is necessary, but if it will be of benefit to your child, we have experienced experts to provide state-of-the-art care.