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 Hospital, Orlando


13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

 
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
 
Helpful Resources
Resources for Patients & Families

The physicians in the division of Pediatric Urology at Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH) are board certified in urology and have additional subspecialty fellowship training and certification in pediatric urology. This means our urology specialists bring extensive knowledge and expertise to the diagnosis and treatment of hydronephrosis in children.

Perhaps most important of all, our pediatric urology team, which includes nurses and other care providers specifically trained in pediatric urology, understands the unique needs of children with hydronephrosis and the concerns of parents. We take the time to answer all your questions, and to provide sensitive, compassionate care children diagnosed with hydronephrosis.

Among the services we provide are:
  • complete urologic assessment, including hydronephrosis in children
  • pediatric gynecologic assessment
  • reconstructive surgery of urinary tract or genitalia
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • reviews of voiding studies, voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) (X-ray images of a the urinary system) ultrasounds and other radiologic studies
 
Urologic Surgical Procedures at Nemours Children's Hospital

Some other procedures we perform include:

  • hydrocele surgery and hernia repair (closure of the inguinal, or groin, canal)
  • hypospadias repair (relocating the urethra, or the opening that carries urine out of the body)
  • varicocele correction (correcting the backwards flow of urine)
  • orchiectomy (removal of the testis)
  • orchidopexy (fastening of an undescended testis inside the scrotum) partial and total nephrectomy (kidney removal)
  • partial and total nephrectomy (kidney removal)

A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.

 
If Your Child Needs to Stay Overnight in Our Hospital

You’ll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.

Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless Internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems, and two flat-screen TVs.

Other in-room features include:
  • full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
  • refrigerator for family meals and snacks
  • wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
  • GetWellNetwork interactive television (uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more) and allows your child to watch TV, surf the Web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team.

Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.

We have many more comforts and amenities such as:
  • complimentary valet and parking
  • kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
  • café and coffee shop
  • nondenominational chapel
  • concierge services

Learn More About Nemours Children’s Hospital »

 
Advanced Pediatric Medical Imaging Services Available Onsite

If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours
Children’s Hospital.

Our unique services include:
  • interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
  • neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging, and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
  • Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time with much less radiation exposure for the child.

Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.

We have also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Learn More About Medical Imaging at Nemours Children's Hospital »

 
Family-Centered Care Means We're Here for You

At Nemours, we want to hear your concerns and share with you everything we can about your child's condition and treatment. If English is not your first language, we'll make sure you understand what to expect — in your language.

Learn More About Interpreter Services at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

 
With Your Family From Clinic or Hospital to Home: KidsTRACK

If your child has a complex or chronic condition we encourage you to take advantage of KidsTRACK, a unique service of Nemours Children’s Hospital. Located on the 1st floor of our hospital, KidsTRACK is designed to help families by providing expert assistance and information on all aspects of your child’s care, even before you leave our hospital or clinic.

A KidsTRACK care coordinator is available during every step of diagnosis, treatment and healing — helping your family make a smooth transition from Nemours Children's Hospital to home. Your coordinator works alongside the nursing/case managers in our subspecialty areas and acts as a single point of contact connecting you to medical and community resources.

Simply ask your physician for a referral to KidsTRACK
or call (407) 650-7715.

Learn More About KidsTRACK at Nemours Children's Hospital »