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Unilateral hydronephrosis

Overview Symptoms Treatment Prevention
Alternative Names:
Hydronephrosis
Treatment:

A ureteral stent (which allows the ureter to drain) or nephrostomy tube (which allows the kidney to drain through the back, bypassing the ureter) will provide temporary relief of the obstruction. However, the underlying cause must be treated to cure this condition.

If signs and symptoms of an infection are present, antibiotics and prompt relief of urinary obstruction is mandatory. Patients who have only one kidney, who have immune-compromising disorders such as diabetes or HIV, or who have received a transplant should be treated promptly.

If hydronephrosis is chronic, preventive antibiotics may be prescribed to decrease the risk of urinary tract infections.

Expectations (prognosis):

Prolonged hydronephrosis results in the eventual loss of kidney function.

Complications:

If hydronephrosis is left untreated, the affected kidney may be permanently damaged. Renal insufficiency or renal failure is rare with unilateral hydronephrosis because the other kidney usually functions normally. However, if the patient has only one functioning kidney, renal failure will occur.

Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have prolonged or severe flank pain, or if you suspect hydronephrosis.

Female urinary tract
Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract
Male urinary tract
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