What is Hydronephrosis?
What is Hydronephrosis? Hydronephrosis is a kidney swelling caused by the buildup of urine. This condition generally occurs in one kidney, but does not close the possibility to occur in both kidneys at once.
When detected and treated promptly, hydronephrosis rarely causes long-term complications. However, if left alone, this kidney swelling has the potential to increase the likelihood of patients experiencing urinary tract infections, kidney damage, or even kidney failure.
This condition can be experienced by all people of all ages, even in the developing fetus in the womb. However, this article will discuss specifically about the hydronephrosis experienced by adult patients.
Causes of Hydronephrosis
This kidney swelling is not a separate disease, but a symptom or complication that arises because of other illnesses suffered by the patient. In the event of a disruption or blockage of the urinary tract, urine will be trapped in the kidney because it can not be removed. This buildup will cause swelling of the kidneys or hydronephrosis.
There are a number of diseases that potentially cause hydronephrosis. Among them include:
- Pregnancy. Enlargement of the uterus during pregnancy can sometimes suppress the ureter.
- Kidney stones that have the potential to block the ureter.
- Narrowing of the ureter due to scar tissue due to infection, surgery, or radiation technique treatment.
- Swelling of the prostate gland.
- Different types of cancer occur around the urinary tract, such as kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, or bladder cancer.
- Disorders or damage to the bladder nerves.
Symptoms of Hydronephrosis
Hydronephrosis can develop suddenly or develop slowly. Some of the symptoms that accompany this kidney swelling are:
Pain in the back or side of the body. It can be a severe and sudden pain or a dull pain sensation that comes and goes.
- A growing belly.
- Blood on urine.
- Pain while urinating.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Often dying.
If you experience any of these symptoms (especially backache, pain on one side of the body, fever, or nausea), consult your doctor immediately. Also make sure to pay attention to changes in the frequency of your urine.
Process Diagnosis Hydronephrosis
In the early stages of the examination, your doctor will ask you for symptoms and medical history of you and your family. If you suspect you have kidney swelling, your doctor may recommend some further tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Types of hydronephrosis examinations generally include blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound, CT and MRI scans, as well as X-rays using contrast agents (IVP or intravenous pyelogram). These procedures will help the doctor to see your overall health condition, as well as the severity of the kidney swelling that occurs.
Treatment Steps Hydronephrosis
The type of hydronephrosis treatment will be determined based on the cause and severity of the patient’s condition. The main goal of treatment is to remove the buildup of urine, reduce pressure on the kidneys due to swelling, prevent permanent damage to the kidneys, and deal with diseases that trigger hydronephrosis.
Catheterization to remove urine that accumulates in the kidney is a treatment method that most people with hydronephrosis undergo. In severe cases, surgical removal of damaged and infected kidneys is sometimes required as a treatment step.
After the kidney swelling decreases and subsides, the underlying cause of hydronephrosis should be treated immediately. Because the causes vary, the treatment is different. Examples include:
- Drugs or surgical removal of some prostate to deal with prostate swelling.
- Use of stents inserted into the narrowed ureter.
- Surgical removal of kidney stones or use of sound waves to destroy kidney stones to overcome kidney stone disease.
- Provision of antibiotics to overcome the infection.
- Radiotherapy or chemotherapy to deal with cancer.