Hydronephrosis (swollen kidney) is a result of urine build-up within one or both kidneys, making them swell and enlarged. Anyone can become affected by hydronephrosis even unborn babies as it can be seen during ultrasounds while the mother is pregnant.
Generally, hydronephrosis does not contribute to long-term problems as long as it is treated and diagnosed early on. In some cases, hydronephrosis can increase a person’s risk of developing urinary tract infections and, if left untreated, can cause scarring of the kidney, which could ultimately lead to kidney failure.
The primary cause of hydronephrosis is a build-up of urine in one or both kidneys. Other causes of hydronephrosis include:
Hydronephrosis can be symptomless, but once symptoms do occur, they can entail the following:
Hydronephrosis treatment in adults first includes draining of the urine, which is built up in the kidneys. A catheter is inserted into the bladder and kidneys in order to relieve added pressure.
Only until the excess urine has been expelled can treatment of the underlying cause begin. Some examples of treatment options for hydronephrosis include:
Your doctor will be able to choose the appropriate form of treatment based on your needs and the underlying cause of your swollen kidneys.
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