Vesicoureteral reflux is the abnormal flow of urine from your bladder back up the tubes (ureters) that connect your kidneys to your bladder. Normally, urine flows only down from your kidneys to your bladder. The symptoms are:
• A strong, persistent urge to urinate
• A burning sensation when urinating
• Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
• Blood in the urine (hematuria) or cloudy, strong-smelling urine
• Pain in your side (flank) or abdomen
• Hesitancy to urinate or holding urine to avoid the burning sensation
HOW IS VESICOURETERAL REFLUX DIAGNOSED?
The most common tests used to diagnose VUR include
• Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG). This test can show abnormalities of the inside of the urethra and bladder.
• Radionuclide cystogram (RNC). RNC is more sensitive than VCUG but does not provide as much detail of the bladder anatomy.
• Abdominal ultrasound. An abdominal ultrasound can create images of the entire urinary tract, including the kidneys and bladder.
HOW IS VESICOURETERAL REFLUX TREATED?
Many children do not need treatment for vesicoureteral reflux. The ureters grow as a child gets older. Mild cases of VUR usually go away completely by the time a child is 5 years old. If treatment is needed, antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (for example, Bactrim), are often prescribed. Surgery may be needed to repair more severe cases of VUR.
DID YOU KNOW?
Place a towel or blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to warm it up. Be sure the towel or blanket is just warm, not hot, and then place it over your child's abdomen. The warmth can help minimize feelings of bladder pressure or pain.