Children's Hospital Colorado
Pediatric Urology
Pediatric Urology

Bladder and Urologic Diagnostic Tests

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, our pediatric urologists use a variety of tests to diagnose and treat bladder and urology conditions in children. We make every attempt to explain these procedures to each child and family, and help every child feel as comfortable as possible during their tests. A brief summary of tests and procedures are listed below.


  • KUB: A kidney, ureter and bladder x-ray is generally used to view stool in the intestines in children. No special preparation is needed to administer this x-ray.
  • Uroflow: A uroflow test measures the flow and force of the urine stream. Before entering the exam room, your child will urinate into a special toilet that is electronically equipped to measure the flow and force of the urine stream. The goal is to have your child urinate as they normally would.
  • Bladder scan/ultrasound: A bladder scan is a non-invasive portable ultrasound instrument that measures post void residual (PVR). PVR is the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination. Your child will lie on an exam table and ultrasound gel will be placed on the lower abdomen. A small receiver is placed on the gel to take a reading of the bladder. No special preparation is required, and the test generally lasts 30 seconds.
  • Urodynamics: This test assesses the function of the urinary system in children who are unable to control urination, often with diagnoses such as spina bifida, spinal cord injury, complex urinary tract anomalies or VACTERL syndrome. In this test, a catheter is placed into the bladder and rectum and the pressures are measured as the bladder is seen to fill and empty. This gives the providers an accurate understanding of how the bladder is working so that they can determine why the patient is having problems.


  • Minimally-invasive surgery: To minimize post-operative pain, to reduce the size of the scars and to ensure children get back to normal activity as quickly as possible, we offer a complete range of minimally-invasive surgery.
  • Biofeedback therapy: This is a treatment technique to help identify sensations and muscle group associated with urinating. Therapy includes visual and auditory feedback for pelvic floor activity to treat dysfunctional voiding and urinary incontinence.
  • Circumcision – Circumcision involves the removal of the foreskin from the tip of the penis. A circumcision can be done at birth up to 4 to 6 weeks of age in clinic with a local anesthetic. In the case of phimosis/paraphimosis, it is usually later in a child’s life that this may become an issue and a circumcision can be done under general anesthesia. There are multiple reasons why a circumcision may not have been done at birth, including prematurity, illness or the identification of an abnormality in the penis; most frequently it is not performed at birth because of parental wishes.