Treatment depends on the cause of the kidney swelling. Treatment may include:
A ureteral stent (tube that allows the ureter to drain into the bladder)
A nephrostomy tube (allows the blocked urine to drain out of the body into a drainage bag)
Antibiotics for infections
People who have only one kidney, who have immune system disorders such as diabetes or HIV, or who have had a transplant will need prompt treatment.
People who have long-term hydronephrosis may need antibiotics to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.
Loss of kidney function may occur if the condition is left untreated.
If hydronephrosis is left untreated, the affected kidney may be permanently damaged. Kidney failure is rare if the other kidney is working normally. However, kidney failure will occur if there is only one functioning kidney.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have ongoing or severe flank pain, or fever, or if you think you may have hydronephrosis.
Prevention of the disorders that cause this condition will prevent it from occurring.
Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.