Ectopic Ureterocele

An ectopic ureterocele is when there is an abnormality in the renal system, usually with an extra tube that drains pee (urine) into the wrong place.

What is an Ectopic Ureterocele?

An ectopic ureterocele is when there is an abnormality in the renal system, usually with an extra tube that drains pee (urine) into the wrong place.

The renal system is made up of two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. Children with ectopic ureterocele usually have one kidney that is bigger than the other. This is because there are two different urine collection systems in it instead of one. The larger kidney has two ureters (tubes) to move the urine to the bladder. One of the ureters enters the bladder at the right place. The second connects to the bladder at the bottom, called the bladder neck, or to another place in the pelvis. This second ureter may be swollen, which can cause a blockage and make it hard for urine to leave the body.  

What Causes an Ectopic Ureterocele?

There are no known causes for ectopic ureterocele. It does seem to happen more often in females than males.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Ectopic Ureterocele?

In some cases, ectopic ureterocele can be found on a prenatal ultrasound. Children who have urinary tract infections (UTIs) or other urinary problems after birth may also be given an ultrasound.

Signs of ectopic ureterocele on an ultrasound can include:

  • swollen kidneys and/or ureters
  • an extra ureter

The ureters are swollen where they enter the bladder. This may stop the flow of urine into the bladder.

How is an Ectopic Ureterocele Diagnosed?

Your baby’s doctor will do a renal ultrasound after birth to look at the organs that make up the renal system.

Your baby will have a voiding cystourethrogram after birth. This test will show how the urine leaves your baby’s body and if there is any reflux. Reflux is when urine moves back up into the kidneys.

How is an Ectopic Ureterocele Treated?

Your baby’s doctor will watch their growth and amniotic fluid with regular ultrasounds. Treatment may not be needed if there are no signs of blockage or damage to the kidneys or bladder. Many children have no long-term problems related to the condition.

If your child has a UTI, the infection may be treated with antibiotics.

Surgery may be needed in more severe cases if there is an obstruction or reflux. Some children may need more procedures after their first treatment.

Possible Problems

There is a chance that your baby will have infections that come back. These infections can affect the bladder or kidney. Kidney damage can happen if they are not treated or happen often. This could lead to kidney failure and, over time, a kidney transplant may be needed. Preventative antibiotics can help with this.

Lifelong Considerations

Outcomes depend on is the severity of the renal obstruction or reflux. If the blockage and reflux can be fixed, future problems are rare.