Munson Health
Hydronephrosis -- Adult

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by LaRusso L


Hydronephrosis is caused by one of two problems in the urinary system. A blockage may prevent urine from draining out of the kidneys. Or, a condition called reflux may cause urine to flow back into the kidneys from the bladder.
Conditions that may cause hydronephrosis include:

Risk Factors

The following factors increase your chances of developing hydronephrosis:


Treatment involves:
  • Draining excess urine from the kidney
  • Removing the blockage
  • Treating conditions that cause blockage or reflux
  • Treating infections in the urinary system
Treatment options include:
  • Antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections
  • Medications to treat neurogenic bladder or to reduce excess uric acid excretion
  • Catheter inserted into the bladder to drain the urine
  • Nephrostomy—a tube inserted into an opening in the midsection to drain urine from the kidney
  • Surgery to remove a blockage or correct a defect in the urinary system
  • Surgery to remove part or all of the kidney—rare


American Kidney Fund

National Kidney Foundation



BC Children’s Hospital

The Kidney Foundation of Canada



Kidney disease and kidney failure. National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: Updated November 15, 2012. Accessed July 12, 2013.

Your child has hydronephrosis. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: Accessed July 12, 2013.


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