Urology is a type of medicine that focuses on disorders or abnormalities of the urogenital or genitourinary (GU) system, which includes a child’s urinary and genital organs.
What do pediatric urologists treat?
A pediatric urologist treats issues with a child’s or teen’s kidneys, renal pelvis, ureter, bladder and urethra in males and females. In addition, disorders of the penis and testicles in males and disorders of the vagina in females are also conditions treated by a pediatric urologist.
At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the doctors in our Urology Program also help patients with the surgical management of conditions, including spina bifida, obstructive urinary disorders and genital malformations.
Conditions we treat:
- Ambiguous genitalia
- Bladder exstrophy epispadias complex
- Cloacal malformation
- Genitourinary tumors
- Inguinal hernia
- Multicystic dysplastic kidney
- Neurogenic bladder and voiding dysfunction
- Phimosis and paraphimosis
- Prune belly syndrome
- Solitary kidney
- Testicular torsion
- Undescended testes (cryptorchidism)
- Urinary incontinence (bed-wetting)
- Urinary stones/kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection and vesicoureteral reflux
The Children’s Urology Program is ranked among the top pediatric urology programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report—No. 19 on the “Best Children’s Hospital” list for 2020-21. It is nationally recognized because of superior scores in areas such as commitment to clinical research and quality improvement.
Our surgeons perform more than 4,000 pediatric urological surgeries each year and use equipment specifically designed for children and teens, including laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgery. This includes access to our own da Vinci Surgical System, which gives surgeons a 3D view and allows greater surgical precision.
For some patients that require surgery, the doctors in our Urology Program are pediatric trained to perform minimally invasive surgery on children. During minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a tube with a camera attached—called an endoscope—to go into a child’s body and stream images to a TV monitor in the operating room to guide the surgeon through the procedure. Our surgeons are highly experienced in these methods and perform them every day.
Pediatric urologists and fellows in our Urology Program are dedicated exclusively to children and actively participate and lead research studies aimed at improving the care of children with urologic diseases and disorders.
Pediatric urologists collaborate within several services and clinics at Children’s, including:
- Prenatal evaluation of genitourinary anomalies: Evaluation and diagnosis of conditions like exstrophy and epispadias, prune belly syndrome and multicystic dysplastic kidney.
- Reconstructive urologic procedures: Surgery to improve urinary control, protect kidney function, improve the appearance of the genitals and allow for sexual function.
- Diagnostic imaging, including magnetic resonance urography: Primarily used to gather more information about kidney function and drainage.
- Help Awaiting Wet Kids (HAWK) Center for voiding dysfunction: Focuses on the special needs of children with wetting issues and other forms of abnormal urination.
- Spina Bifida Clinic: Provides medical, surgical, rehabilitative, psychological and support services during each stage of a child’s development.
- Pelvic and Anorectal Care Program: Provides care for children with surgical diseases resulting in constipation, diarrhea, soiling or pain as a consequence of the disease.
- Fetal Care Center: Collaborates with obstetricians and perinatologists to assist women and families experiencing high-risk pregnancies in developing a comprehensive care plan, from evaluation and diagnosis to postnatal surgical intervention and care.
- Differences of sexual development: Dedicated case manager provides coordinated care across specialties and serves as the primary contact for patients and families.
The team of pediatric urologists who make up the Urology Program at Children’s are dedicated to caring for a wide range of conditions for kids from birth to age 21.