Bladder Outlet Obstruction


​​Bladder outlet obstruction or BOO is a problem that develops in the foetus (unborn baby) during pregnancy. It occurs when the urethra (duct by which urine flows out of the body) is completely or partially blocked. It is more common in male children than female children.

Blockage of urine outflow may cause it to flow backwards which can affect all of the organs including the bladder, ureters and kidneys. These organs become filled with urine and swell, causing damage.​

If your baby has urinary blockage, he or she may urinate in very small amounts or sometimes not at all. In some cases, the symptoms are not apparent until a child develops a UTI (urinary tract infection). Symptoms of this include:

  • Fever.

  • Nausea.

  • Diarrhoea.

  • Vomiting.

  • Irritability and crying.

  • Not eating.

  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or bad-smelling urine.

  • Urinating very frequently.

​If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms at birth, consult with our expert doctors and nurses working with the Children’s Hospital Services at The Aga Khan University Hospital. ​

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

​​​​​Bladder outlet obstruction may be diagnosed before or after birth. The usual method of diagnosis is to perform an ultrasound, which is an imaging technique that uses a device called a transducer to provide an internal picture of the body’s organs. An ultrasound can show enlarged kidneys or bladders in babies.

Your doctor may also ask you to undertake the procedure of amniocentesis. This is a procedure in which some amniotic fluid (the protective fluid surrounding a foetus) is removed from the mother’s womb for testing. A thin needle is inserted through the abdomen to obtain a small amount of amniotic fluid, which is then analyzed to show whether the baby has any birth defects such as damaged lungs or kidneys.

Treatment for BOO depends on the cause and severity of the blockage. Some treatment options are as follows:

Surgery: If the blockage is life threatening, then surgery may be required to correct it. 

Medications: A newborn with BOO may be given medications to treat the blockage. ​

Intermittent Catheterization: This is a procedure used to empty the bladder by inserting a thin tube, called a catheter, into the bladder. This helps to decrease kidney damage, urine leakage and urinary tract infections (UTI)..​

​The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

​Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider. ​​