What are posterior urethral valves in babies?

Posterior urethral valves are wisps of tissue in the prostatic urethra preventing the release of urine out of the urinary bladder. Ranging from a mild obstruction to very severe, they can result in renal failure, bladder dysfunction and even death. These problems are diagnosed increasingly by prenatal ultrasound. If done so, the goal of treatment is to obliterate these valves via a cystoscope within the first week of life. Attention should be directed to the possible electrolyte abnormalities as well as possible pulmonary hypoplasia (underdevelopment of the lungs) that may have developed secondary to the oligohydramnios (decreased amniotic fluid).

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