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Kidney Diseases

Duplicated Kidney in an Infant

08/03/2010

Question:

My Granddaughter has been diagnosed with a duplicated kidney. She would just wimper when she was urinating so my daugter took her to the dr. They said it was a UTI and gave her meds. My daughter would take her to the dr all the time, even when I didn`t think it was necessary. I told her that babies tend to cry from time to time. With stuffy noses, teething, etc., they do get cranky. When I was around the baby was always pleasant. My daughter kept taking her to dr...when that dr wouldn`t give her the answer she wanted she would get mad at them and go to another one. She had read that sometimes those with duplicated kidneys that there might be a chance of surgery. It`s like she want the baby to have surgery. After the 3rd dr they sent her to Children`s Hospital in Birmingham, AL. They told her they would monitor the amount of UTI`s. They gave her meds and sent her home. I`m not even sure my daughter gives her the meds. Two or three days later my daughter took her back. Dr. did a culture and told my daughter he`d send it off but that he did not think it was a UTI. My daughter got mad and stormed out. Brought her home and a few hours later took her to Cullman Regional ER and an ER dr "supposedly" told her it was a UTI. I wasn`t there and I can`t tell if my daughter is telling the truth. She said they told her they would do surgery on the baby in two weeks. It`s as if my daughter wants any attention she may get if her babies having surgery. I don`t want the baby to have unnecessary surgery. What is the risk of a 7th month old having this surgery?

Answer:

This is a difficult question to answer without more information. A duplicated kidney occurs in 1 in 125 individuals, and most have no problems. It simply means that there are 2 ureters draining the kidney into the bladder rather than one ureter. Some have an obstructed upper ureter that may or may not require surgery, and others have urinary reflux into the lower ureter that may or may not require surgery. Most individuals with a duplicated kidney do not need surgery, even if they have a UTI. However, if it is necessary, when performed by an experienced pediatric urologist and with good pediatric anesthesia, it is generally safe. The child's mother should understand that even with surgery, it is possible that her child may continue to have UTIs. I can assure you that the pediatric urologists at Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham are excellent.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University