A ureterocele is a birth defect that affects the kidney, ureter, and bladder. When a person has an ureterocele, the portion of the ureter closest to the bladder swells up like a balloon and the ureteral opening is often very tiny and can obstruct urine flow. This blockage can affect how the part of the kidney affected develops and works.
The majority of ureterocele are diagnosed in children less than 2 years, although occasionally older children or adults are found to have an ureterocele.
Usually there are no symptoms that accompany an ureterocele, but some patients experience:
The treatment for a ureterocele is based on the age of the patient, whether the affected portion of the kidney is functioning, and whether vesicoureteral reflux is present. In some cases, more than one procedure is necessary, while in unusual cases, observation, or no treatment, may be recommended.
Children’s National offers five techniques to treat ureterocele. Each child is unique and the medical team will work with the family to determine the best option.
At Children’s National in Washington, DC, our pediatric urologists provide comprehensive care for disorders affecting reproductive and urinary organs.
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Craig Peters, MD, is the chief of Surgical Technology and Translation and Principal Investigator in the bioengineering initiative at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.
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