Posterior Urethral Valves in Children

  • If your son has posterior urethral valves (PUV), it means that he was born with extra flaps of tissue that have grown in his urethra, the tube that leads from the bladder to the tip of his penis. These extra flaps of tissue block the normal flow of urine, which can damage organs such as the bladder and kidneys. Early diagnosis, intervention and long-term follow up care are the keys to successful management of this condition.

    Here is some basic information about PUV:

    •  PUV are extra flaps of tissue that grow in a boy’s urethra.
    •  This congenital (present at birth) condition affects about one in 8,000 baby boys.
    • The severity of the condition depends on the degree of obstruction in the urethra.
    • Symptoms of PUV are related to the urinary tract and may cause painful urination or difficulty emptying the bladder.
    • Depending on the severity of the abnormality, PUV can be treated with various surgical interventions. Endoscopic incision of valves is the most common surgical procedure.
    • With medical management, most boys with PUV will lead healthy lives and have normal kidney function, bladder function and continence.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches posterior urethral valves (PUV):

    At Children’s, we take a multidisciplinary approach to treating a child’s posterior urethra valves (PUV). After an accurate diagnosis is made, boys are carefully assessed and treated by specialists in many different disciplines, including Nephrology, Urology and Radiology. With each appointment, our team of experts monitors your child’s kidney function, bladder functioning and voiding ability (emptying of the bladder). 

    Posterior urethral valves: Reviewed by Joseph G. Borer, MD
    © Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2012

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