Thursday, October 9, 2008

Info about Reflux

On Monday Leland had an appointment with a Pediatric Urologist regarding her reflux issues. It turns out that she may need surgery to correct her reflux issues. That was a little disheartening. It wasn't exactly what we expected to hear. It would be a laproscopic surgery that would re-route her ureter into her bladder. It's not an invasive surgery, but surgery none the less. No one wants to see their 3 year old go through a surgery and recovery. I am going to pursue a 2nd opinion, just to make sure it is the best option.

During her previous VCUG test they gave the reflux a grade of severity on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most severe. She was graded a 3/4. Reflux is a birth defect where most who have it will grow out of by the age of 5. The doctor feels that since Leland still has that severe of reflux at this age it is unlikely she will out grow it without doing damage to her kidneys. She is currently taking a daily antibiotic to hopefully prevent any infection that would damage her kidneys.

Even though she has had this condition since birth, it is usually not discovered until after being potty trained. A more full bladder and holding it for too long increases the amount of pressure on the undeveloped valve that leaks urine into the kidneys. As a baby, Leland would often get unexplained fevers. I now learned that this was possibly a reaction from this reflux. Her little body has been fighting any infections and has done a great job, since there is no recognizable damage to her kidneys right now. The Dr suggested that she goes to the bathroom on a schedule instead of waiting until she really has to go.

Here's why - Think of a water balloon (the bladder) that has been pricked with a pin so it has a leak (the underdeveloped valve). The more full the balloon is, the more water is pushed out of the leaking hole (and into her kidneys). That's also why it is more difficult to discover until after the child is potty trained. Before being potty trained, there is not as much pressure on that valve because the bladder does not get as full.

Since this reflux is a birth defect, the Dr wants to now test Lucy. She will just have a sonogram to make sure her kidneys are not showing any signs of inflammation.

None of this is so serious that it is life-threatening in any way. We are truly grateful for that. We are also grateful for the blessing of modern medicine that helps discover these issues and provides ways in which to help correct them.


  1. Wow, Dr. Ashley, I am learning lots. You are doing a great job staying on top of the situation. I was hoping that as she grew, the problem would correct itself. You are smart to get a second opinion. Keep us posted.

  2. When do we find out if she has to have surgery?