What is it?

Hydronephrosis is a condition in which urine builds- up in one or both of your kidneys, causing them to stretch and swell.
Hydronephrosis is caused by a block in your urinary tract, which is the "pipe" that leads the urine out of your kidneys, into your bladder and then out of the body. The blockage can be unilateral and lead to hydronephrosis in one kidney, or bilateral and cause hydronephrosis in both kidneys.
Some common causes of hydronephrosis are kidney stones, an enlarged prostate gland in men, pregnancy and cancer tumors that push the urinary tract and block the urine flow.
Hydronephrosis does not generally cause any long-term problems if it's diagnosed and treated promptly.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Hydronephrosis (swelling kidney from backup of urine)
- Hydronephrosis with obstruction by stones
- Hydronephrosis with renal and ureteral calculous obstruction
- Hydronephrosis with ureteral stricture

Signs & symptoms

In some cases, you might have no symptoms at all, especially if the blockage happened slowly over time.
In other cases, you may experience back, lower belly or genital pain, and symptoms of urinary tract infection such as needing to pee more often and a burning sensation while peeing.
Lastly, you might feel you need to pee less than usual.


Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and risk factors. In order to complete the diagnosis, the following test might be needed:
- Blood and urine tests
- Imaging test- such as Ultrasound or CT scan to visual your kidneys and urinary tract.


If you don’t have any symptoms, and your blood and urine tests are normal, you might not need any treatment.
In other cases, treatment will be needed.
Your doctor might offer to drain the urine by inserting a tube call catheter to your bladder or kidneys. This will reduce the swelling but will not solve the problem that caused the hydronephrosis initially.
Further treatment will be needed, depending on the cause the hydronephrosis.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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