Doctors usually discover vesicoureteral reflux as part of follow-up testing when an infant or young child is diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. If your child has signs and symptoms, such as pain or burning during urination or a persistent, unexplained fever, call your child's doctor.
After evaluation, your child may be referred to a doctor who specializes in urinary tract conditions (urologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your child's doctor.
What you can do
Before your appointment, take time to write down key information, including:
- Signs and symptoms your child has been experiencing, and for how long.
- Information about your child's medical history, including other recent health problems.
- Details about your family's medical history, including whether any of your child's first-degree relatives — such as a parent or sibling — have been diagnosed with vesicoureteral reflux.
- Names and dosages of any prescription and over-the-counter medications that your child is taking.
- Questions to ask your doctor.
For vesicoureteral reflux, some basic questions to ask your child's doctor include:
- What is likely causing my child's signs and symptoms?
- Is it a bladder or kidney infection?
- Are there other possible causes for these symptoms?
- What kinds of tests does my child need?
- How likely is it that my child's condition will resolve without treatment?
- What are the benefits and risks of the recommended treatment in my child's case?
- Is my child at risk of complications from this condition?
- How will you monitor my child's health over time?
- What steps can I take to reduce my child's risk of future urinary tract infections?
- Are my other children at increased risk of this condition?
- Do you recommend that my child see a specialist?
Don't hesitate to ask questions that occur to you during your child's appointment. The best treatment option for vesicoureteral reflux — which can range from watchful waiting to surgery — often is not clear-cut. In order to arrive at a treatment decision that feels right to you and your child, it's important that you understand your child's condition and the benefits and risks of each available therapy.
What to expect from your doctor
Your child's doctor will perform a physical examination of your child. He or she is likely to ask you a number of questions as well. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
June 20, 2014
- When did you first notice that your child was experiencing symptoms?
- Have these symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your child's symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve these symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your child's symptoms?
- Does anyone in your family have a history of vesicoureteral reflux?
- Has your child had any growth problems?
- What types of antibiotics has your child received for other infections, such as ear infections?
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Vesicoureteral reflux. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/Kudiseases/pubs/vesicoureteralreflux/. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Vesicoureteral reflux. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_renal_and_genitourinary_anomalies/vesicoureteral_reflux.html. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Urinary tract infection in adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/utiadult/. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Tekgul S, et al. EAU guidelines on vesicoureteral reflux in children. European Urology. 2012;62:534.
- Fever and your child. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://patiented.aap.org/content2.aspx?aid=5107. Accessed April 6, 2014.
- McLorie G, et al. Management of vesicoureteral reflux. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 6, 2014.
- Schmitt BD. Pediatric Telephone Protocols. 14th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2013:120-124.
- McLorie G, et al. Presentation, diagnosis, and clinical course of vesicoureteral reflux. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 30, 2014.