Hydronephrosis

Hydronephrosis in children occurs when there is a dilation or stretching of the kidney pelvis, which is where urine collects, or ureter, the tube that drains urine from the kidney. Hydronephrosis in children may involve one or both kidneys and can be mild, moderate, or severe, but rest assured that Nemours pediatric urologists specialize in treating both simple and complex cases of hydronephrosis and keep your child's comfort their top priority.

 
Learn More About Hydronephrosis in Children

Hydronephrosis in children may occur when there is a blockage to the flow of urine causing increased pressure "up stream". This can lead to  urine building up above the point of blockage and cause the characteristic stretching and dilation of the urinary tract.

Hydronephrosis in children can also occur due to an abnormal connection between the ureter and bladder that allows urine to flow backward toward the kidney when the bladder contracts to empty. This condition is known as reflux.

Occasionally pediatric hydronephrosis can also be caused by a blockage that has cleared and left the urinary system stretched but not under any pressure.

How is Hydronephrosis in Children Diagnosed?

Medical advances in prenatal ultrasound examinations have helped identify large numbers of infants with urinary dilation or stretching prior to birth. In diagnosing hydronephrosis, Nemours urologists may recommend a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) and a renal (kidney) scan.

The VCUG tells us if the “one-way” valve in the bladder is functioning, while the renal scan reveals how well the kidneys are functioning and assesses how fast the urine drains from the kidney into the bladder to see if a blockage exists. These studies help determine if surgical repair or immediate treatment is needed since hydronephrosis can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sometimes permanent kidney damage.

Nemours Children's Clinic, Pensacola

5153 N. Ninth Ave.
Pensacola, FL 32504
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For Appointments: (850) 505-4700

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time)
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What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
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Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
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Resources for Patients & Families

If you’re a parent living in Northwest Florida or Southern Alabama, you’re close to the area’s only fellowship-trained pediatric urologist.

Fellowship training in pediatric urology means that our urology specialist has additional medical training in children’s urological issues and is able to provide medical and surgical care for infants, children, and teens with hydronephrosis.

Compassionate Care for Your Child

Along with an expertise in diagnosing and treating hydronephrosis in children comes an understanding of how hydronephrosis can impact your child and family’s life.

We strive to provide your child with personal and compassionate care. Hydronephrosis in children can be complex, so we do all we can to make sure that you understand and are comfortable with any treatment options.

Among the services we provide are:
  • complete urologic assessment
  • pediatric gynecologic assessment
  • reviews of voiding studies, voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG: X-ray images of a person's urinary system), ultrasounds and other radiologic studies

Expertise in Pediatric Urologic Surgery

If surgery is needed for your child, we realize that you want all the information possible in order to make the best decision, so we take the time to explain each option, always looking for the least invasive method for faster healing and return to normal activities.
Learn more about urologic surgery at Nemours »