patients ranging from fetal stage through late adolescence are brought
to the Johns Hopkins Children''s Center each year specifically because
of the remarkable success the doctors have achieved in rehabilitating
children who have failed initial genitourinary surgery elsewhere,
especially for bladder exstrophy. Johns Hopkins pediatric surgeons
treat more children with this major birth defect than do physicians
at any other institution in the world. Our experts also manage all
congenital urologic issues in children and have advanced the use
of minimally invasive surgery for the undescended testis as well
as kidney and bladder stones in children. The medical and surgical
management of urinary incontinence in children has been furthered
by clinical studies through a dedicated voiding improvement program
and improvement in surgical reconstruction technique.
John P. Gearhart, M.D., Professor
and Director of Pediatric Urology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s
Center, along with his fellow pediatric urological team members,
has extensive experience in urological reconstruction.
Dr. Gearhart's current research
is focused on generating new knowledge based on the evaluation and
treatment of the bladder muscle, nerve supply, and collagen content
of the exstrophic bladder. In addition, long-term follow-up studies
are underway of patients born with ambiguous genitalia. Dr. Gearhart, and other colleagues, is studying
the effect of high-soy diets (which supply increased estrogen) and
the worldwide increase in the incidence of hypospadias.
Our laboratory was the first in
the world to show the connection between the breakdown products
of soy and hypospadias development. When it opens in 2009, the new
Johns Hopkins Children's Center, a 560,000 square foot, $275 million
state-of-the-art facility will allow us to continue providing our
patients and their families with the best care possible.