Neurourology Program

The Neurourology Center at Boston Children's Hospital has more than 25 years of experience in evaluating and treating disorders of the lower urinary tract in children. If your child has been suffering from one of these disorders, our doctors can help.

Bladder dysfunction and urinary incontinence and infection are common problems in children. One in four cases of bladder dysfunction in children are related to abnormalities of the muscles or the nerves that control them. These issues can arise during fetal development, or problems can occur around the time of birth or from traumatic injuries after birth.

Customized Diagnostics

We carefully tailor our diagnostic testing to your child so we can provide not only an accurate diagnosis, but also an understanding of the underlying reasons for your child's condition. Testing includes:

  • Monitoring the dynamics of the bladder function during urine storage and evacuation
  • measuring the activity of the urinary sphincter (the muscle that stops the flow of urine) as the bladder cycles through these two phases.

When appropriate, our doctors will also perform a urinary flow rate test, which measures how well your child's bladder is doing its two main jobs: storing and releasing urine.

Innovative Treatment and Care

Physicians and researchers in the Neurourology Program at Boston Children's are constantly investigating new and better ways to treat your child's condition. Our current treatment innovations include:

  • Endoscopic treatment of vesicoureteral reflux
  • laparoscopic and robotically assisted surgical reconstruction of the lower urinary tract
  • bladder reconstruction using the patient's own cells
  • catheterization and medications to improve bladder function
  • urodynamics assessment of bladder function to guide therapy
  • minimally invasive treatment for stones in the urinary tract.

In addition, we have made major advances in treating children with myelodysplasia(spina bifida) and other neurological conditions that have revolutionized care for children with these disorders.

Diagnostic Urinary Tests

Boston Children's physicians can perform a urodynamics test on your child to determine the underlying causes of a urinary problem. The testing gives your doctor good information to help him or her treat your child with urinary incontinence or infection in an efficient manner, using drug therapies, behavioral therapies or surgery.

Stem Cell Therapy for Spina Bifida

Myelomeningocele is one of the most common birth defects of the central nervous system. It's a severe form of spina bifida in which backbone and spinal canal do not completely close during fetal development, so that the spinal cord and nerves develop outside of the body. Some of the symptoms include loss of bladder or bowel control and weakness of the hips, legs or feet of a newborn. Boston Children's is currently investigating the use of neural stem cells to improve on surgery for this