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Learning About Posterior Urethral Valves (PUV) in Newborns

Healthy urethra and bladder compared to urethra with blocked urine flow to the bladder (posterior urethral valve).

What is PUV?

Posterior urethral valves (PUV) are a condition that prevents normal urine flow from the bladder through the penis. PUV occurs when babies are born with extra tissue in the urethra. (It's the tube that carries urine from the bladder.) That tissue blocks urine flow. This can cause ongoing problems with the bladder and kidneys.

How is PUV treated?

PUV is often treated just after birth.

A tiny tube called a catheter is inserted into the urethra to drain urine from the bladder. Fluids and electrolytes may be watched and replaced as needed.

Your baby may have surgery to remove the extra folds of tissue in the urethra. It can help improve urine flow. A thin, lighted viewing tool (cystoscope) is placed into the urethra. Then the extra tissue is removed. Some very small babies may have a different surgery first.

A newborn with PUV will likely need ongoing care for bladder and kidney problems.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

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