Common Conditions

Ambiguous Genitalia

Ambiguous genitalia, or intersexuality, is the inability at birth to be certain whether the child is a male or a female. The genital appearance is confusing in that the penis may look less well developed than that of a normal boy or the clitoris may be overdeveloped for a normal girl. In addition, the scrotum may be split and this lack of fusion could represent underdevelopment of the normal scrotum or over development and "masculinization" of the labia majora. Special genetic tests and hormone studies as well as ultrasounds and x-rays are required to diagnoses this condition properly and to assign the proper sexual identify to the baby. Surgery is usually required to correct the genital appearance.

Hematuria (Blood in the urine)

Hematuria can be caused by many conditions. These may be conditions that affect the kidney, the ureter, the bladder or the urethra. These conditions include infections, blockages in the kidney or ureter or urethra, cysts of the kidney, kidney stones or kidney tumours. Special tests such as ultrasounds, voiding cystourethrograms, CAT scans, IVUs and MRIs allows the specific diagnosis to be made and the treatment can then be selected.

Hernia - Hydrocele

Communication between the abdomen and scrotum or in girls between the abdomen and labia resulting in fluid or abdominal content moving through the groin into the scrotum or labia in female children.


This condition means that there is dilation of the kidney. Hydronephrosis is commonly detected by ultrasound performed during pregnancy. The causes may be obstructed urine flow, reflux if urine, or may be a temporary condition or in some cases a normal finding.

Kidney Stones (Calculi)

These usually cause back pain or abdominal pain together with hematuria and in some children fever also occurs.


Inability to retract the penile skin back over the glans penis. This condition may require "freeing up" of the excess penile skin or circumcision.

Undescended Testes

Failure of complete decent. Failure to recognize this condition or to treat it in a timely fashion can result in later infertility. Hormone treatment, groin surgery or laparoscopy are all used to treat this condition depending upon its severity.


Abnormally swollen scrotal veins. This condition is usually discovered just before or during puberty. The increased temperature in the scrotum caused by these large veins can sometimes affect the growth and maturing of the testicles resulting in infertility as well as cause scrotal discomfort. Treatment may simply require observation in order to monitor growth of the testicle. In more severe cases, surgery is the procedure of choice.

Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR or Reflux)

Urine going back up to the kidneys from the bladder. This is an abnormal condition that is frequently discovered in children who develop urinary infections. It is found during the evaluation of the cause of the urinary tract infections. In some children antibiotic treatment and observation is all that is required for treatment, whereas in other children surgery is the best course of treatment.

Wilms' Tumor

Wilms' Tumor is the kidney cancer of childhood. It occurs typically in younger children. It has become a very curable cancer when surgery is coupled with other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.