Vesicoureteral Reflux and its Complications

Urine is produced in the kidneys and flows down to the bladder via the ureters. However, in vesicouretral reflux (VUR), the urine flows back from the bladder into the ureters, and then to the kidneys. This is usually due to the failure of the flap valves that prevent backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureters. This is known as primary vesicouretral reflux. Secondary vesicouretral reflux is caused by the incomplete emptying of the bladder, which may be caused by a blockage or the degradation of muscle or nerves controlling bladder function.

Since VUR does not have direct overt symptoms, it is usually diagnosed when consulting a physician on a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other urinary tract-related issue.

If you or someone you know as been diagnosed with VUR, you should consult a urologist as quickly as possible. We recommend these Urologist in Islamabad, if they are convenient for you.

Risk Factors

There are many different factors that may put you at risk of having or developing VUR. These range from separate persisting conditions to genetic inheritance. Here are some of these factors:

  • Age: Children are the main victims of this condition, and children under the age of 2 are more likely to have it than those that are older.
  • Sex: For VUR that is present at birth, boys are generally more at risk. However, in other instances, girls are more at risk.
  • Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction: This disease may cause young children to hold in their urine, which in turn could cause recurring UTIs. This frequency of UTIs may result in the development of VUR.
  • Genetic Inheritance: The most common cause of flap valve failure is genetic dysfunction that can be inherited. About half of all children with mothers who have or have had VUR, will likely have the disease themselves.

Complications

Though VUR itself does not have any symptoms that are pressing, it can result in issues that are very serious. The main concern here is kidney damage resulting from the backflow of the urine. When the urine flows back to the kidneys, it can carry with it harmful bacteria that can infect the urinary tract, and damage the kidneys. Complications arising from this include:

  • Renal Scarring: Constant urinary tract infection will lead to scarring, or damage to urinary tissue.
  • High Blood Pressure: This follows from extensive scarring, as the damage to the kidneys will result in reduced filtering of waste from the blood. This excess waste is what results in the increase in blood pressure.
  • Kidney Failure: This is the complete loss of kidney function, also resulting from extensive scarring. This may develop suddenly (Acute Kidney Failure), or over a long period of time (Chronic Kidney Failure).

Treatment

Oftentimes, VUR will simply fade away with time, as when the child grows older, the urinary tract is elongated, putting more distance between the ureters and the bladder. This means that it gets harder for urine to travel back up from the bladder to the ureters. The main concern is avoiding kidney damage during this period.

However, if the condition does not fade, surgery to repair the flap valve may be necessary, if the VUR is primary. Otherwise, other options will be provided by your physician.

If you believe you might require surgery to rectify VUR, you should get in touch with a good urologist. These Best urologist in Lahore are good options if you live in the area.

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