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"What happens during a pediatric urology follow up?"


My daughter just had surgery to fix a minor bladder defect, so what should we expect? How invasive will the follow up be?


It is difficult to be specific about the type of follow-up that your daughter will have, although I can provide some general guidelines based upon the most common pediatric urological diagnoses and procedures. A follow-up visit for any surgical procedure most often has two goals in mind: 1) to assess the success of the operation and 2) to assess for the presence of any complications. With that in mind, most urological follow-up office appointments are nothing more than a conversation to ask about signs / symptoms particular to the surgery and a brief exam to look for signs of infection, good wound healing, and good cosmetic outcome.

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As an example, one of the most common pediatric urological surgeries is a repair of the valves that exist at the junction of the bladder and ureters; in that case, the surgeons will most likely ask questions about any signs or symptoms of urinary tract infections (i.e. pain with urination, blood in the urine, etc), do a brief external exam, and perhaps schedule a VCUG in the future (voiding cystourethrogram) in which a small amount of contrast is instilled in the bladder via a catheter and the voiding process is observed using a specialized x-ray technique called fluoroscopy. Again, it is not possible to predict what the content of your appointment will be without knowing more specifics about the procedure, but most surgical follow-up appointments are brief, focused, and minimally invasive, unless concerning findings are made which require more invasive follow-up. Please talk to your doctor for more information.

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