Kidney Bean

Okay, so I’ll give you the long and the short of it…

The Short Answer: Willa has a duplicating system in her left kidney with level 5 reflux. In addition, she has a misplaced ureter that needs to be moved in order to fix the reflux. If the reflux is left untreated, it will cause damage to her kidney. So, on Monday, June 9th, we are going to Children’s hospital in Boston for surgery. Four hour surgery, 2 night stay at the hospital and possibly a follow-up surgery to remove a stent from her kidney.

Translation (AKA, the long version…): At my 36 week ultrasound while I was pregnant with Willa they found fluid in her left kidney and that her kidney has two chambers (that’s the “duplicating system”) when it should only have one. Frightening to us at first, but then every doctor reassured us that although it’s not “normal,” it is incredibly common and usually isn’t an issue after birth. Their only recommendation was for Willa to have a follow-up ultrasound after she was born.

So, we have the follow-up ultrasound with a urologist in November… This is when it starts to become more serious… He wants to do additional testing to find the reason for the fluid in her kidney… But still, everything they are saying is, they typically just “watch” kids with this condition over SEVERAL YEARS to keep an eye on it and for most kids, it clears up on its own.

Next procedure reveals even more bad news… Willa has level 5 reflux— the worst it can be- this means that when she urinates, urine goes back up from her bladder into her kidney. If she ever was to have a urinary tract infection then, the infection would spread to her kidney and possibly cause damage. In addition, since the reflux is so severe, the actual rushing of the urine back into her kidney could cause structural damage over time. Typically with reflux, kids are on preventative antibiotics on a daily basis for years and usually the reflux clears on its own. But, we can’t wait with Willa’s because of the possibility of damage to her kidney.

Additionally, the reflux is caused by the “duplicating system.” Two chambers means two tubes or ureters that go from the kidney to the bladder. One of the ureters goes into the bladder too low and that is the cause of the reflux. So essentially the surgeon needs to move the second ureter and attach it back to the bladder in a better position. He may have to reshape the ureter as well, since looking at it on ultrasound, it looks “too wide.” If he has to do that, then he will have to put a stent in and then remove it after a month or so.

The one positive note in all of this is that her left kidney, even with the two chambers, is fully functional (so they don’t need to remove part of her kidney, phew!!). So, we have this surgery and hope that this solves the reflux problem… The success rate for the surgery is 90% of kids after three months no longer have reflux…  Don’t know what time the surgery is on Monday…Won’t know until Friday afternoon…

So, think of us on Monday and send prayers and healthy thoughts our way 🙂

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