A routine ultrasound revealed serious kidney and bladder problems while Keagan was still in utero. At Stony Brook Children's a pediatric urologist was available to see her within hours of her birth.
When a routine ultrasound revealed dilated kidneys in the baby she was carrying, Misty K was referred to Stony Brook because it has the capabilities to deal with high-risk pregnancies. Dr. Robert Wasnick, a pediatric urologist, suspected cysts in the baby's bladder, but also knew there could be other complications. He arranged to be present at the birth so he could immediately perform diagnostic testing on baby Keagan and put a plan into place.
Dr. Wasnick found not only the suspected cysts, called ureteroceles, but also double ureters on both sides of the bladder, which created a duplex urine collecting system. As a result, the urine flowed at double speed, which in turn caused it to whirlpool in the bladder and back up into the kidneys creating pockets of infection.
Although surgery was the only option, Dr. Wasnick preferred to wait until Keagan was older to minimize risk. Her weakened condition, however, made her susceptible to other problems, so during this period Keagan spent as much time in the hospital as she did at home. "This was a painful time for our family," says Misty "It was tolerable only because of the amazing care we received from Dr. Wasnick." When Keagan was four months, Dr. Wasnick decided on performing the surgery because waiting any longer could trigger the need for a kidney transplant. During a 12-hour surgery he removed two of the ureters from the bladder and reimplanted them so they would drain into one.
With the exception of an episode when Keagan was seven months and her sodium levels dropped dangerously resulting in a stay in Stony Brook's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), she has had few side effects. "She will be prone to urinary tract infections throughout her life, but now Keagan is nearing three, and has not had a urinary track infection in a year and a half, nor has she had a single kidney infection. Sonograms every six months show that she has healed beautifully," says Misty. "In fact, Dr. Wasnick said if he hadn't performed the surgery himself, he wouldn't know that there had been anything wrong with Keagan."