Hydronephrosis is the enlargement of a kidney due to a blockage that stops urine from flowing out of the body.
- A birth (congenital) defect of the kidney.
- A congenital defect of the tube through which urine travels (ureter).
- Kidney stones.
- An enlarged prostate gland.
- A tumor.
- Cancer of the prostate, bladder, uterus, ovary, or colon.
- A blood clot.
- Pain or discomfort in your side (flank).
- Swelling of the abdomen.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Pain while passing urine.
- Feeling of urgency to urinate.
- Frequent urination.
- Infection of the urinary tract.
- In some cases, there are no symptoms.
- A medical history.
- A physical exam.
- Blood and urine tests to check kidney function.
- Imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.
- A test in which a rigid or flexible telescope (cystoscope) is used to view the site of the blockage.
Depending on where the blockage is located, how long it has been there, and what caused it, treatment options include:
- A procedure to put in a soft tube to help drain urine.
- Antibiotic medicines to treat or prevent infection.
- Shock wave therapy (lithotripsy) to help eliminate kidney stones.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Get lots of rest.
- Drink enough fluid to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.
- If you have a drain in, follow your health care provider’s instructions about how to care for it.
- Take medicines only as directed by your health care provider.
- If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, finish all of it even if you start to feel better.
- Keep all follow-up visits as directed by your health care provider.
Contact a health care provider if:
- You continue to have symptoms after treatment.
- You develop new symptoms.
- You have a problem with a drainage device.
- Your urine becomes cloudy or bloody.
- You have a fever.
Seek immediate treatment if:
- You have severe flank or abdominal pain.
- You develop vomiting and are unable to keep fluids down.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.