Pediatric Urology

Pediatric urology focuses on diagnosing and managing urinary tract and reproductive system abnormalities. Pediatric urologists are experts in genitourinary diseases and congenital abnormalities in newborns. Parents should consult pediatric urologists if their children are experiencing hernias in the scrotum or groin, undescended testicles, swelling around testicles, bedwetting, or recurrent urinary tract infections.

Diseases and conditions

  • Undescended Testis: Undescended testis, also known as cryptorchidism, is a condition in which a testicle cannot move into its proper position (in the scrotal sac, the area just below the penis). Only one testicle is affected in most cases. Low birth weight, family history of undescended testis, alcohol consumption and smoking by mother or passive smoking during pregnancy, abdominal wall defect or Down syndrome, and exposure of parents to pesticides increase the risk of undescended testis.
  • Ambiguous Genitalia: Ambiguous genitalia, now known as atypical genitalia, is a condition in which the external genitals of newborns do not have the typical appearance of either a girl or a boy. The characteristic features of ambiguous genitalia in girls include closed labia that resembles a scrotum, enlarged clitoris that resembles a penis, and lumps in the labia that feel like testes. The features of ambiguous genitalia in boys include the absence of one or both testes, a small penis, a urethra not extending to the tip of the penis (hypospadias), and undescended testes.
  • Phimosis: It is a condition characterized by the inability to retract the foreskin from the tip of the penis. It is a common condition in children who have not undergone circumcision. It is virtually present in all newborns, and the condition gradually improves with age. By the age of 16, phimosis is present in only 1% of people. The symptoms of phimosis include soreness, redness or discoloration, pain during erections or while performing a sexual activity, and inflammation.

Procedures and treatment

  • Orchidopexy: It is a surgical procedure through which the surgeon moves the undescended testes into the scrotum. The doctor may also recommend this procedure to correct the testicular torsion and prevent its recurrence. It is generally done in children between 2 to 4 years old. It is not a major surgery, and the pain experienced by the patients after the surgery is effectively managed through pain relievers.
  • Reconstructive Surgeries: Reconstructive surgeries related to the urinary and reproductive systems help normalize urinary and reproductive function by rerouting, repairing, and reconstructing areas of the upper urinary tract and reproductive organs. The surgeries include ureteral surgery, hypospadias repair, pyeloplasty, and urethroplasty.
  • Circumcision: Foreskin covers the head of the penis. Circumcision is the surgical procedure for the removal of the foreskin. Babies are born with their foreskin completely attached to the penis. Over time, the foreskin retracts from the head of the penis. However, in some cases, where the foreskin fails to retract, circumcision is performed to correct the abnormality.