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Vesicoureteral Reflux


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Vesicoureteral reflux is the irregular flow of urine from the bladder back up the ureters (tubes that run between the kidneys and the bladder). Normally, urine flows one way, from the kidneys to the bladder. Vesicoureteral reflux increases a child’s risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) , which can lead to kidney damage.

Symptoms of vesicoureteral reflux may include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Burning feeling when urinating
  • Cloudy, strong-smelling urine
  • Constipation or inability to control bowel movements
  • Fever
  • Hematuria
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney failure
  • Pain in the side or abdomen
  • Passing small amounts of urine frequently
  • Proteinuria
  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate

University of Miami Health System pediatric nephrologists and urologists work together to treat vesicoureteral reflux. Our team approach ensures your child receives comprehensive care.


Urine Tests (Urinalysis)
A urine test determines if your child has a UTI.

Kidney and Bladder Ultrasound
Your child may have an ultrasound, which uses sound waves, to give their doctors a better look at their kidneys and urinary tract.


Ongoing Monitoring
If your child has a mild case of vesicoureteral reflux, the nephrologist may monitor your child closely. Sometimes the condition goes away on its own and doesn’t need treatment.

Diet Modifications
Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids, especially water. If your child has an active UTI, they should avoid juices and soft drinks with citrus and caffeine.

If your child has a UTI, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

Severe vesicoureteral reflux sometimes requires surgery to repair the structural defect that’s causing the backward flow of urine. Whenever possible, pediatric surgeons use a minimally invasive approach, but sometimes open surgery is necessary.

Why Choose UHealth?

Recognized for excellence in treating kidney conditions. We’ve been recognized for our expertise in dealing with acute renal replacement therapies in young children and infants, as well as the management of severe urinary tract obstruction in developing fetuses and in newborns. We work closely with our highly skilled pediatric urology team to deliver comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for your child.

In 2016, the state of Florida renewed our designation as a Comprehensive Chronic Kidney Failure Center (CCKFC). We are one of only three such centers in the state. Our program has consistently ranked among the nation’s top pediatric nephrology programs for the past nine years by U.S. News & World Report. We’re proud to have received the best rank in the state of Florida.

Pediatric Dialysis Unit provides kid-friendly care. Our Pediatric Dialysis Unit is one of the largest in the nation solely dedicated to children. We have eight hemodialysis stations, and our highly skilled nursing staff provides more than 3,000 treatments a year. Our pediatric nephrologists monitor each child to ensure they’re responding well to dialysis treatment, and we hold monthly multidisciplinary patient reviews in accordance with national guidelines. We also help connect children and families with essential psychosocial support during their treatment.

Pair Donor Exchange Program for kidney transplant. If your child needs a kidney transplant, we’re experts in transplant and follow-up care. Our Pair Donor Exchange Program can help shorten your child’s wait time for a kidney. This program increases the opportunity for children who are incompatible with a majority of donor kidneys to be transplanted. Because the child receives a kidney from a living donor, they will usually have a better outcome.

Annual Pediatric Nephrology Seminar held every March. Celebrating our 45th year in 2018, this unique international gathering of nephrology specialists is an important forum for exchanging the latest innovations and research findings in pediatric nephrology. Pediatric and adult nephrologists, pediatricians, internists, general practitioners, pediatric urologists, and transplant surgeons from throughout the United States and the world attend this annual event.

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