Following in his big sister's footsteps, Mini-Ping has decided that he too would like to be one of Japan's medical mysteries and take us through yet another field of medicine--urology.
Mini-Ping was born with a bum kidney. He has unilateral hydronephrosis, which means that one of his kidneys has a slight obstruction which inhibits the flow of urine out of the kidney. His pediatrician discovered this defect during his 4-month-old check-up, just by chance. He had (and still has) no symptoms or problems, so it is a blessing that she caught it so early.
Mini-Ping has to be monitored and put through a series of tests each year to check the size and function of that kidney to make sure that nothing has changed for the worse. We were told that this type of problem can usually resolve itself as the child grows: the bigger they get, the bigger the opening in the kidney will get, which will make the flow of urine go faster. While his kidney size and function has never improved, it hasn't gotten worse which made us cautiously optimistic that things would resolve itself over the course of time.
This changed in September, when during a routine check, the pediatric urologist informed us that Mini-Ping has what is known as a "horseshoe kidney," otherwise known as a "super kidney." Basically, both of his kidneys are fused together at the lower end, which is causing the hydronephrosis in one of his kidneys because the fused area is obstructing the flow of urine. We were also informed that it is probable that it will not resolve on its own and that he will require follow-up visits pretty much for many of the coming years. However, as long as his kidney function remains at the level it is now and there are no infections or other problems, he may not need surgery. We're hoping that this is the case!
So, there you have it...our foray into the Japanese medical system with the kids. Should be a bumpy ride, but always filled with adventure!