Children's Hospital Colorado
Colorado Fetal Care Center

Bladder Outlet Obstruction

We see more, treat more and heal more kids than any other hospital in the region.

U.S. News & World Report ranked in all 10 specialties badge

Get Care

Would you like to learn more about us?
checked box icon Colorado Fetal Care Center
Do you have questions about this condition?
Call
Want a second opinion?
Two checked boxes icon Get started

What is a bladder outlet obstruction?

Bladder outlet obstruction, also known as a lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO), is a fetal condition where urine is unable to pass from an unborn baby's bladder to the amniotic sac surrounding it.

What causes bladder outlet obstruction?

The most common cause of bladder outlet obstruction in boys is posterior urethral valves. This condition occurs when a membrane blocks the urethra, the tube that drains the bladder to the amniotic sac. This blockage prevents urine made in the baby's kidneys from draining into the amniotic sac and becoming amniotic fluid, which helps to cushion the baby.

Bladder outlet obstruction in a fetus can impact development in many ways. An obstruction affects the development of the urinary tract, including the bladder and kidneys. Fluid buildup in the bladder can impact lung development, which then puts strain on the heart.

When a baby is not releasing urine, levels of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby drop. This reduces the "cushion" a baby has in the amniotic sac and can delay lung development and limit movement.

Who gets bladder outlet obstruction?

Bladder outlet obstruction occurs in every one of approximately 4,000 births. It is more common in males than in females.

Next steps

Compassionate care, wherever you are

We’re here when you need us. Telehealth appointments are available across every specialty, so you can get the high-quality care we’ve always offered from the comfort, privacy and convenience of home.

See if telehealth is right for you

 

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Traci Nivens, MD

Traci Nivens, MD

Ob/Gyn Obstetrics & Gynecology

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Henry Galan, MD

Henry Galan, MD

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Debnath Chatterjee, MD

Debnath Chatterjee, MD

Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Amanda Schmitt, MD

Amanda Schmitt, MD

Ob/Gyn Obstetrics & Gynecology

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?