The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery (main vessel supplying the blood to the lungs) to the aorta (main vessel supplying the blood to the body). This connection is present in all babies in the womb, but should close shortly after birth. In some babies, especially in those born prematurely, this vessel may remain open. This is called a patent or persistent ductus arteriosus.
Steroids are hormonal substances that are produced naturally in the body by the adrenal glands (which are just above each kidney) and by the reproductive organs. There are many different types of steroids and they have different effects on the body.
A gastrostomy is a feeding tube that is inserted directly into the stomach either surgically under direct vision (open or laproscopic), endoscopically (with a camera), or radiologically (x-ray guidance). A gastrostomy tube allows the delivery of supplemental nutrition and medications directly into the stomach. It also provides a mechanism to drain gastric contents if required. In order for gastrostomy feeding to be successful the child or young person must have a functioning gastrointestinal tract.
Morphoea is a rare skin condition where patches of skin become hardened and lose their normal texture, becoming shiny. Sometimes the bones and muscles underneath the patches of skin become affected as well.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic condition that affects mainly boys, causing gradual deterioration of muscle strength and eventually leading to full-time wheelchair use. Your child may not need surgery for many years, if ever, but we would like you to be aware of the potential risks and benefits in advance so that you and your child are prepared when surgery is needed.
Congenital hypothyroidism is a disorder affecting the thyroid gland, which is in the neck. The thyroid gland produces a hormone (chemical substance) called thyroxine, which is needed for normal growth and development.
An MIBG scan is used to look for uncontrolled or abnormal cell growth in the body. It works by injecting a substance called an isotope into your child’s veins. The MIBG scan is named after the chemical ‘iodine-131-metaiodobenzylguanidine’ or MIBG for short, to which the isotope is attached.
Vesico-ureteric reflux (VUR) occurs when the valve between the ureters (the tubes that carry urine away from the kidneys) and the bladder is not working properly. Urine can flow backwards into the ureters, sometimes as far as the kidneys. If infected urine flows into the kidneys, this can damage them.
Biofeedback therapy concentrates on the pelvic floor muscles, which are vital for successful bladder function. The pelvic floor muscles are at the base of the pelvis, below the bladder and are shaped like a ‘sling’.