Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Hydronephrosis Treatment?
Our urologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital evaluate and analyze each patient's affection and formulate personalized treatment plans. Additionally, our doctors have access to some of the most effective medical techniques available, which helps them cure the patients' conditions and alleviate their symptoms effectively.
Hydronephrosis is a condition that manifests by the swelling of one or both kidneys due to a build-up of urine that cannot be passed from the kidneys to the bladder. This usually results from a blockage or an obstruction in the urinary tract. Left untreated, it can lead to progressive atrophy of the kidney.
The main goal in treating hydronephrosis is to restart the flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder and decrease the swelling. Treatment depends mainly on what causes the swelling. Some of the treatment methods used when dealing with hydronephrosis are:
When Caused By Cancer Or Tumors »
When Caused By Blockage »
When Caused By An Enlarged Prostate »
When Caused By Kidney Stones »
When Caused By Infection »
There is only one type of hydronephrosis as the one thing that varies in patients affected by it is the underline cause.
Symptoms of Hydronephrosis
Common symptoms of hydronephrosis include:
Diagnosis of Hydronephrosis
When patients show signs that they may suffer from hydronephrosis, our doctors usually recommend the following tests:
- Ultrasound scan: During this procedure sound waves are used to create images of the kidneys.
- Blood tests: The doctor can require a blood sample to test for possible infections.
- Urine tests: These tests can be required in order to check for infection and traces of blood in the urine (this can be a sign of kidney stones).
- X-ray: An X-ray of the kidneys can be taken after injecting a special dye into the bloodstream. This special dye highlights the urine flow through the urinary tract and this can help identify any possible blockages.
- CT scan: A CT scan works in a similar way to an X-ray, but uses multiple images in order to create a 3D picture of the inside of the body.
Hydronephrosis can also be diagnosed in babies during pregnancy while performing a routine ultrasound scan at approximately twenty weeks. This condition is called antenatal hydronephrosis.
Risk Factors for Hydronephrosis
There are a number of risk factors that can lead to the development of hydronephrosis:
- Developing kidney stones: This can create a blockage in the urinary tract that leads to a build-up of urine in the kidneys, causing them to swell.
- A family history of prostate cancer: In some cases prostate cancer may be an inherited factor and it can obstruct urine flow which, in turn, can lead to hydronephrosis.
- Urinary tract abnormalities: Urinary tract abnormalities can be present in people since birth. These abnormalities that affect normal urine flow can cause urine to back up into the kidney.
- Bladder neck obstruction: This condition prevents the bladder neck from opening completely during urination. In time, if left untreated, it can cause hydronephrosis.
Causes of Hydronephrosis
Hydronephrosis is almost always caused by an underlying condition. These conditions include:
- Kidney stones: Kidney stones are hard deposits made from chemicals found in the urine, usually formed when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing the chemicals to stick together.
- Congenital ureteropelvic junction obstruction: A blockage in the area that connects part of the kidney to the ureters.
- Scarring of tissue: Scarring the ureters by sustaining an injury or from a previous surgery can cause blockage of urine flow
- Different types of cancers: Cancers that are located in the pelvic area (like bladder cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer or prostate cancer) can also cause an obstruction in urine flow.
- Enlarged prostate: Enlargement of the prostate puts pressure on the urethra, making it extremely difficult to urinate.
- Urinary tract infection: A UTI can cause inflammation in the kidney tissue.
It is normal for people to search for alternative treatments and methods that can help relieve some of the symptoms caused by hydronephrosis. Keep in mind though that these alternative treatment approaches have not been scientifically proven so it is important to ask a doctor’s opinion before trying them out. Some of these alternative remedies are:
- Pineapple syrup: Taking 20 grams of pineapple syrup daily with water on an empty stomach can increase urine output, thus helping pass any build-up urine.
- Mutrakrichantak Churna: A mixture of herbs with antioxidant properties dedicated to patients with kidney-related problems.
- Massage: A massage therapist can help remove urinary tract obstructions. If practiced, the patient has to acknowledge that there is a risk of rupturing the ureter.
- Dandelion: Dandelion has anti-inflammatory properties and was used in the past to treat kidney disease.
- Indian licorice: Some consider the extract of Indian licorice a natural antibiotic and so use it in the case of an infection caused hydronephrosis.
In order to prevent hydronephrosis, the patient has to prevent the conditions that cause it in the first place. These prevention methods are:
Kidney stones prevention: Preventing kidney stones can help prevent hydronephrosis, so these lifestyle strategies can be helpful: drinking normal quantities of water, reducing sodium intake, avoiding animal protein and taking in an appropriate amount of calcium.
Enlarged prostate prevention: There are several lifestyle habits that can help with preventing an enlarged prostate: eating more fruits and vegetables, eating low-fat foods, avoiding red meat, exercising regularly, drinking green tea, giving up alcohol and maintaining a healthy sex life.
Cancer prevention: Although there is no cancer prevention strategy, there are some choices that can help reduce the risk: a low-fat diet, increasing the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, reducing dairy products and maintaining a healthy weight.
Urinary tract infection prevention: Drinking 2 liters of liquids daily, maintaining a healthy weight and emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse.
Do you suspect you might suffer from hydronephrosis? You can always learn more about renal problems and how to treat and cure them by getting in touch with our specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.