Hydronephrosis In Babies - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments You Should Be Aware Of

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Does your baby become irritated and cry a lot while urinating? Did the doctor diagnose your baby with Hydronephrosis? If you said yes, then consider reading our post below.

Hydronephrosis is a disease that induces kidney swelling, and your baby may be a victim of painful urination or severe pain in the lower abdomen.

What Is Hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis is a condition when either of the kidneys or both become swollen. In such circumstances, your baby’s kidneys fail to drain the urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder. The resulting blockage in the urinary tract induces painful urination (1).

Causes Of Hydronephrosis In Babies:

There are numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors that lead to the condition of Hydronephrosis in your baby:

  • The presence of kidney stones can block the ureter. The stones gradually move towards the urinary bladder and induce painful conditions.
  • The development of a cyst or a tumor can compress the ureter and inhibit urine drainage properly.
  • Blood clots in kidneys can induce acute unilateral obstructive uropathy.
  • Some babies have a birth defect like a narrow ureter and are more prone to develop Hydronephrosis (2).

Symptoms Of Hydronephrosis In Babies:

The urine flows through the urinary tract under normal pressure. But if there is an obstruction in the urinary tract, the pressure builds up constantly. As the urine cannot flow smoothly for the extended period, the kidney may start to swell and become enlarged. The kidney may become infected, and it may harm adjacent body organs. If your baby does not get effective treatment in time, it can lead to nasty complications or even permanent kidney failure.

The symptoms of Hydronephrosis usually depend on how long the obstruction exists in your baby’s urinary tract. Some of the visible signs include:

  • Painful urination
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Infection in urinary tract

When the urine flow is not smooth, your baby is at greater risk of developing urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI is one of the most common symptoms of Hydronephrosis and the signs of UTI in babies are:

  • Back pain
  • Fever
  • Incessant crying, irritability, and pain while urinating
  • Cloudy urine

If you encounter any of the visible symptoms of Hydronephrosis, consult the doctor immediately. According to medical science, an untreated UTI can even lead to other serious health disorders, including pyelonephritis (kidney infection) and sepsis (blood poisoning) (3).

Diagnosing Hydronephrosis In Babies:

Some of the tests to diagnose Hydronephrosis in babies include:

  • Urine Analysis:

The test detects any infection or abnormal cells present in the urine.

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC):

It is an effective test to diagnose anemia or urinary tract infection in babies.

  • Electrolyte Analysis:

Electrolyte analysis is an effective test to diagnose chronic Hydronephrosis.

  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) and Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR):

These are the different types of blood tests to help check the functioning of the kidneys.

  • CT Scan:

The CT scan is the most effective imaging test for the abdomen; it helps diagnose any abnormality in the kidney anatomy. Most of the medical consultants prescribe to perform CT scan to diagnose the existence of kidney or bladder stones.

  • Ultrasound:

The ultrasound helps detect an abnormality in kidney function.

Treating Hydronephrosis In Babies:

The treatment for the disease depends upon the extent of the obstruction your little one experiences. The doctor removes the obstruction of the urinary tract using surgical procedures, like inserting a ureteral stent or nephrostomy tube.

If your baby develops a blockage due to the presence of scar tissue or a blood clot, the surgeon can remove the affected region. The surgical process reconnects the healthy ends of your baby’s ureter to enhance the flow of urination to a normal pace.

If your baby develops Hydronephrosis due to the occurrence of kidney stones, the doctor may perform an endoscopic surgery. The surgical procedure involves using tiny instruments to remove the kidney stones easily (4).

Complications Of Hydronephrosis In Babies:

If the condition of Hydronephrosis is kept untreated in your baby, the kidney will start getting damaged. The kidney would eventually lose its ability to filter the blood, remove the unwanted toxin products and maintain the normal urination level of your baby’s body.

Hydronephrosis can often lead to kidney infections. The dysfunctional kidneys can lead to complications and be fatal. But if the swelling of the kidneys is treated in proper time or at the advanced stage, much of the complications can be limited. If proper treatment procedure is applied, the kidney selling can easily recover, and both the kidneys can function well.

But is some of the rare cases, when a baby suffers from chronic Hydronephrosis, the situation is worst. Even after fast recovery of the kidney swelling and removal of the urinary tract obstruction, the baby may not have functional kidneys.

Seeking Medical Guidance For Hydronephrosis In Babies:

If your baby is a victim of acute Hydronephrosis, some conditions that may develop in the body include significant abdominal pain. The pain would require an emergency clinical treatment from a specialist doctor.

You baby might also experience blood in the urine, which is highly sensitive and requires immediate medical treatment. Most times, the swollen condition of your baby’s kidneys occurs due to the presence of tumors, kidney stones or urinary bladder infection. As soon as the medical test confirms the onset of Hydronephrosis in your little angel, take her to the specialist doctor on urgent basis. The urinary tract infection can impede the normal rate of urine flow. The situation can heighten your baby’s risk of developing conditions like bacteremia (blood stream bacterial infection).

Using the proper diagnosis and treatment, you can help curb the disease of Hydronephrosis to a great extent.

Did your little one suffer from Hydronephrosis? What did the doctor suggest for your baby? Share your complete story here! Fellow moms would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below.

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