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 duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia

833 Chestnut St. E., Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
For Information: (215) 861-8830

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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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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Returning Patients
 
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Pediatric urologists are available on the first Friday of every month to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for infants, children, and teens with hydronephrosis at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia.

What to Expect for Pediatric Urology Care at Philadelphia

Our pediatric urology specialists come from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, where the Division of Pediatric Urology is ranked nationally for outstanding care by U.S. News & World Report.

Everyone on Nemours' pediatric urology team truly cares about your child and your family. We know how difficult it can be to deal with hydronephrosis in children, especially if surgery is needed.

We do our best to clearly explain treatment options, to answer your questions, and address all of your concerns.