This topic could not have come at a more opportune time for our family. I’m thankful I am able to highlight the pediatric urology department at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart from a professional and personal perspective.
As a mother to three little girls, I recently turned to my fellow Pensacola Mom Collective team members to get advice about recurrent urinary tract infections in female toddlers who are fully potty trained. We tossed around all of the typical possibilities (wiping the “right” way, bubble baths, etc.) and even a few really great ones (possible urine retention in the bladder).
Meanwhile, our pediatrician was referring us to Dr. Mark Wehry in the Pediatric Urology Department at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart.
Dr. Mark Wehry is fellowship-trained and board-certified in pediatric urology. He graduated with his master’s degree in anatomy from the University of Louisville and his medical degree from East Carolina University. Dr. Wehry received residency training in general surgery and urology at St. Louis University Hospital. He performed a fellowship in pediatric urology at Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. He is a previous chief of surgery for Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola and is currently the president-elect of the Sacred Heart medical staff. Dr. Mark Wehry is a member of the American Urologic Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he has been published in the Journal of Urology and the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Needless to say, we knew we were in great hands with him. The pediatric subspecialty referral team quickly reached out to us on a Friday and scheduled our appointment for the following Monday morning!
As parents (and patients), we all know that waiting can be the hardest part, so it was a relief that we were able to be seen so quickly.
After my daughter’s appointment, I was able to speak with Dr. Wehry a few days later, for a more lengthy period to generally discuss the topic of pediatric urology for Pensacola Mom Collective. I had a lot of questions and a busy doctor’s schedule to work with.
Thankfully, Dr. Wehry is as caring and kind as a professional as he was as a physician in the office with my daughter.
Dr. Wehry explained urology as a “cradle to grave” profession. For now, and lucky for us local mamas, he’s more on the “cradle” side. Pediatric urology consists of a wide range of conditions involving both the urinary and genital tracts. When asked what the most common condition he sees in his office, Dr. Wehry said “definitely urinary tract infections.” While UTIs are the most common, he also treats patients with congenital (meaning present at birth) problems often diagnosed prenatally along with many other issues such as nighttime incontinence (bedwetting), and undescended testes typically developed in early childhood.
Prevention is key for toddlers beginning, during, and after potty training to stop urinary tract infections before they even start.
Dr. Wehry provides the following suggestions:
- Teach your children how to wipe correctly, front to back.
- Make sure your child completely empties their bladder when urinating,
- Take note of stool patterns and avoid constipation through the use of probiotics and fiber.
- Be sure your child is drinking enough water. Proper hydration is key.
- Avoid bubble baths which can cause irritation.
- Have your child drink ample amounts of cranberry juice which can help prevent typical infections (our household favorite is the cran-grape mix).
- Listen to your child and take notice of patterns of pain and/or accidents.
Throughout our conversation, Dr. Wehry mentioned many intriguing facts and, as a “nurse-nerd” mom, I was amazed. Surprisingly, studies show that nighttime incontinence has a genetic factor, and is often correlated in patients diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
As we await a resolution for my daughter’s issues, I am confident in Dr. Wehry’s knowledge and experience. In our first meeting, he allowed me to give a thorough history of my daughter’s issues over the past few months before figuring out a planned path for us to take while leaving the decisions ultimately up to us. I felt completely comfortable, and so did my daughter, which is a huge plus.
Our children are experiencing so many “new” things these days but her sweet giggle as she elbow tapped Dr. Wehry to say “hello” was a sign that we were in the right place.
Dr. Wehry offers services at multiple locations in Pensacola. Contact your preferred location to book an appointment.