Hydronephrosis – Causes, Treatment

Hydronephrosis is a condition in which the kidney is dilated and distended; it is caused by the pressure created in the kidney by the urine, when the urine is blocked from being discharged or the flow of urine is blocked.

In normal condition, the urine flows out of the kidney at a relatively low pressure and if this flow of urine is obstructed, then the urine goes back and accumulates in certain small tubes, located inside the kidney (renal pelvis area). This collected urine then exerts pressure on the kidney, causing it to enlarge or expand. The pressure exerted by the urine can be fatal and damage the kidney and ultimately stopping it from functioning properly.

Causes of Hydronephrosis

It can be caused by various factors but most often it is the result of a blockage or obstruction which can be found in the connection between the renal pelvis and the ureter. The different causes of such obstruction include:

Abnormal Structure: some people are born with abnormal structure of the kidney, for example, in some people, the renal pelvis is a little higher than usual or the muscles of the ureter are not completely developed. In such situation, the flow is urine is obstructed and it can lead to the condition of Hydronephrosis.

Injury: sometimes, severe injury can cause the ureter or the renal pelvis to shift from their actual positions. In such situations, the flow of urine will be obstructed.

Vein or Tumor: if a tumor is formed in the passage of the urine or, if a vein is located in such a way that it blocks the urine passage, then the flow of urine will be obstructed, causing backward pressure on the kidney.

Pregnancy: Hydronephrosis can occur in both the kidneys of a woman during pregnancy. This is often a temporary condition which ends with childbirth (end of pregnancy)

Treatment of Hydronephrosis

The treatment of Hydronephrosis often revolves around curing the cause of the obstruction in the urinary passage. Also, the excess urine which is accumulated in the kidney is immediately drained out so that it cannot cause any damage to the kidney. It is often done by inserting a needle through the patient’s skin.  In most cases drugs are used to treat the infection caused by the urine obstruction; drugs can also be used to remove the obstruction but in some cases only a surgical operation can help in removing it.