In case of kidney reflux the urine flows back from the bladder into the kidneys. Kidney reflux typically affects infants and children, in most cases girls. It can be a congenital disorder or it may be a consequence of an infection.
The symptoms of kidney reflux include a constant urge to pass urine, a burning sensation while urinating, unclear urine with strong odor, blood in the urine, pain in the abdomen and fever. If an infant suffers from kidney reflux, the signs may be slow development, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, mood changes and fever. If kidney reflux has not been treated, it can have consequences such as bed wetting, protein in urine, high blood pressure and kidney damage.
In some cases of mild congenital kidney reflux is the disorder and may go away on its own. In more serious cases the treatment is necessary. The doctor may suggest medications or surgery. The medications includes antibiotics to prevent the infection of the kidneys.
The surgical procedure is done under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a cut in the abdomen. Then the bladder is opened and stitched with the urethra to secure one way valve. The urethra is tunneled along the bladder wall. The patient will have to be hospitalized for several days after the procedure. The surgeon will install a catheter in the bladder in order for urine to be drained. The catheter should be used for at least a day after the surgery. After the removal of the catheter, the patient may experience some common problems which are normal and temporary. Blood in the urine or burning sensation may be present for a couple weeks after the surgery.Since the patients are mainly children, the risk of general anesthesia is low. Kidney reflux may recur and in case it does not resolve in its own, the child may need another surgery. Fortunately, recurrence of kidney reflux is extremely rare. Some of the complication after the surgery include wound infection, bleeding or lung infection. Until the doctor is positive that the kidney reflux will not reoccur the patient will be given antibiotics. It is recommended to visit the doctor a week or two after the surgical procedure in order to check if the recovery is going as planned. The stitches on the cut on the skin will dissolve after some time. About five weeks later, the patient will have to have an ultrasound imaging. In addition, blood pressure should be monitored as well.