Children are more susceptible to infections than adults because their immune system is not fully developed. Moreover, they don't know the importance of practicing good hygiene.
If a child undergoes surgery of the abdomen or related organs such as stomach, intestine kidney, bladder or urethra, the child stands the chance of contracting a urinary tract infection from a bacterial infection.
The surgical cause of the urinary tract infection in the child can occur due to bacteria and other organism left after surgical intervention. Urinary tract infection in children commonly occurs due to congenital anomalies like Posterior Urethral Valve (PUV), Vesico-Ureteric Reflux (VUR), Uretero-Pelvic Junction Obstruction (UPJ / PUJ Obstruction), etc. The most common organisms in the urinary tracts are strains of Escherichia coli that are specifically attached to the transitional epithelium of bladder.
In the Pediatric age groups, E. coli causes more than 80 to 90 percent of Urinary Tract Infections. Other bacterial causes of urinary tract infection are: Klebsiella, Proteus Mirabilis, Enterococci, etc
Common symptoms of a UTI are:
Pain or burning sensation during urinating.
Frequent urge to urinate.
Foul smell in urine.
Change in the colour of urine.
Blood in the urine.
Pain in the lower abdomen.
If one or more of these symptoms persist for over three days or recur, the child needs medical attention.
Surgical intervention for any reason in the digestive tracts and any other organs in the abdomen area may increase the risk of urinary tract infection in children. The doctor will diagnose a urinary tract infection based on the symptoms. Diagnosis involves testing a urine sample for bacteria. If a child has the tendency of getting urinary tract infection more than once in a short span of time, especially a male child; the child might need to consult a Pediatric Surgeon to rule out congenital anomalies in urinary tract like Posterior Urethral Valve (PUV), Vesico-Ureteric Reflux (VUR), Uretero-Pelvic Junction Obstruction (UPJ / PUJ Obstruction), etc. Ultrasound, MCU, DMSA Scan, DTPA Scan, Urodynamic study and MRU are required for knowing the cause of urinary tract infection.
Treatment of UTI involves anti-bacterial medication. Apart from that, hygienic practice like the following is recommended to avoid recurrence of infection:
Front to back wiping.
Not holding the urination for long periods.
Drinking plenty of water to dilute any bacterial content in urine.
Washing hands before wiping private parts.
Avoiding excessive sweet food and beverages.
These practices help treat the existing urinary tract infection and also prevent further infection. If symptoms recur anyway, consultation with a Pediatric Surgeon is recommended.
Take Away Message:
Urinary tract Infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. It is more common in girls and children. A urinary tract infection is generally characterized by the strong sense of urination but no urine, along with other symptoms such as burning sensation while urinating, foul smell of the urine, frequent urination, fever, nausea, etc. The common cause of urinary tract infection is the spread of E. coli bacteria in the urinary tract. This risk increases with surgical intervention in the digestive and urinary tract surgery in children. For the treatment, it is recommended to consult a Pediatric Surgeon.