Hydronephrosis is a pathological condition of the renal system characterized by swelling of the kidneys. The swelling occurs as a result of urine not being able to completely drain into the bladder. Hydronephrosis usually affects one kidney but at times both the kidneys may be involved.
Hydronephrosis is not a primary condition but it results from complications of some other underlying disease conditions affecting the kidneys. The most common condition is obstruction of the urinary tract which does not allow urine to pass from the kidney through to the bladder.
Under normal circumstances, urine flows from the kidney through to the bladder with minimal if any pressure. However, if there is an obstruction of the urinary tract, then there is accumulation of the urine which creates pressure on both the bladder and the kidneys causing the kidneys to enlarge. This is what is termed as Hydronephrosis.
As the pressure due to Hydronephrosis continues to grow on the kidneys, the enlargement increases and the kidney starts exerting pressure on nearby organs. If left untreated, this condition may adversely affect the functioning of the kidney ultimately resulting in kidney failure as a result of Hydronephrosis.
Can Hydronephrosis Be Cured?
The answer to this question is yes. Since Hydronephrosis is not a primary condition but develops as a result of some other underlying condition then treating the cause may cure Hydronephrosis. The treatment aims at clearing the blockage which causes accumulation of urine within the urinary tract causing Hydronephrosis.
The treatment plan will be formulated based on what is exactly causing the obstruction. In cases if there is a blockage in the ureter a ureteral stent may have to be inserted to clear the blockage. Post insertion, antibiotics may be prescribed to clear the infection.
Clearing of obstruction causing Hydronephrosis will require surgery. During diagnosis if it is found that a blood clot is the cause of the obstruction then the entire diseased area may have to be removed for clearing the obstruction and then joining the healthy ends of the ureter to allow normal flow of urine.
For cases where a kidney stone is the cause for obstruction, then laser treatment will be required for clearing the stone and removing the obstruction. The prognosis for treatment of Hydronephrosis is extremely good if the condition is detected and treated early. In case if a surgery is required, then the prognosis for a successful outcome is as close to 100% in almost all the cases requiring surgery for Hydronephrosis.