Enlarged bladder in 17 week ultrasound. Post urethra partial blockage. Only in boys? — The Bump
High-Risk Pregnancy

Enlarged bladder in 17 week ultrasound. Post urethra partial blockage. Only in boys?

Hi. I just had my second ultrasound after finding out baby boy has an enlarged bladder and possible club feet. My doctor says it is a blocked valve in the penis and is rare and on occurs in boys. The baby still has good amniotic fluid, so he thinks it is a partial blockage. We haven't received the genetic testing results yet, but my doctor says there is a risk of kidney issues after birth. Did anyone else have this condition? Trying not to worry too much, as I just can't handle any more stress. Thanks!


  • Hi. Congratulations on your little boy, and I'm sorry that you are going through this. 

    My son had this. Everything I know is from my doctors. It's called a Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction or LUTO. The fact that it is a partial blockage is a really good sign. My son's was unfortunately a full blockage and was untreatable. As such he passed away. It is VERY rare for it to be as severe a case as my son had. He was by far the worst case that the specialist had ever seen. 

    I'm not sure where you are located but there's different ways that this will be handled. I'm in Australia, so it might be different then what you are told. 

    My son was diagnosed at 13 weeks. He already was starting to have kidney problems. There was no treatment options until he was 16 weeks. At that point they were going to do tests to see if he was eligible for treatment. He would have had to have no evidence of kidney damage which is no cysts in his kidneys. They were then going to insert a catheter through my uterus, into his bladder and get a urine sample. They would analyse that for evidence of kidney damage. They would also do genetic tests. As long as there was no evidence of a genetic disorder and minimal kidney damage they would put in a shunt from his kidney out of his stomach so that the urine would drain that way. This would have then been removed once he was born and they could do surgery to open up his urethra.

    If your LO's isn't too bad, they will probably just monitor it. You would get regular scans to check for amniotic fluid levels and they would work out treatment options. 

    I know it's easy to say not to worry, but you are going to. Just remember, mine is an absolute worse case scenario. My advice would be to follow your doctors advice. If you need to, find a specialist. Look into treatment options. There are so many success stories. The majority of children come out of this with little damage or at least, very treatable damage. You are also in a good position that they have picked it up, and they can look into the treatment options and have doctors ready when he's born. 

    Also remember that there is nothing you did to cause this. I have blamed myself every way I could, but it's a completely random genetic condition. 

    Little boy due July 31st 2016

  • I have a nephew that had this.  While pregnant his parents were told if her survived the pregnancy he would most certainly have kidney failure at birth and require dialysis and eventually a kidney transplant (done after age 2 because he needs to grow first).

    That little boy is now a 4 year old firecracker.  He had a port for dialysis inserted shortly after birth and was dialyzed a couple of times, but his kidney function slowly improved and he was off dialysis by 1 month.  His kidney function isn't perfect and they still think he will end up on dialysis or with a transplant eventually (likely in his teens).  But with strict attention to hydration and advances in medicine we are hoping to keep pushing that back.

    Most large centers will have support groups for "kidney kids" and their families.  I would have your doctor connect you with that group.
    PgAL ([email protected] 29/10/11 - lost you before we knew we had you)
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