How To Treat Hydronephrosis


Dilation of a kidney owing to urine build-up is called hydronephrosis. To treat hydronephrosis it is necessary to diagnose the underlying condition responsible for stimulating fluid build-up in the kidney. An obstruction in the ureter, bladder or urethra is primarily responsible for this condition. One or both the kidneys may be affected by hydronephrosis. The kidney tissues are damaged by the rising pressure of the fluid accumulating in the kidney. If left untreated for several weeks, hydronephrosis may cause permanent damage to the affected kidney.

How To Treat Hydronephrosis

Treatment for hydronephrosis involves reducing the fluid build-up in the kidneys and restoring the functions of the kidney by correcting disorders that prevent urine flow.

Caused By Kidney Stones

Kidney stone is the most common cause of hydronephrosis. Removal of the kidney stones helps to drain the fluid from the kidney. Smaller kidney stones that partially block urine flow may be eliminated from the urinary tract with medications and herbal remedies. Shock wave lithotripsy is currently the most popular option for treating hydronephrosis triggered by kidney stones. In this therapy, the kidney stones are broken down into tiny pieces with shock waves, and are then flushed out of the urinary tract through urination.

Surgery To Treat Hydronephrosis

Formal surgical interventions may be needed for removing larger stones. Surgeries are also recommended for treating hydronephrosis caused by tumors and fibrosis that are difficult to treat with laparoscopy and non-interventional therapies. Operation is the only option for treating hydronephrosis occurring in children born with a structural abnormality known as vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), in which the urine flows from the bladder upwards to the kidneys.


To treat hydronephrosis, urologists may recommend laparoscopy. This medical procedure is carried out for removing tumors and retroperitoneal fibrosis that obstruct the urine flow.


When surgery or shock wave lithotripsy cannot remove the kidney stones, the urologist inserts a stent into the ureter to facilitate drainage of urine from the kidney by bypassing the stone that obstructs the passage of the urine, resulting in hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis caused by uretral stricture or scarring are also treated with the stent. A percutaneous nephrostomy tube is inserted directly into the affected kidney when a stent cannot be used for draining the urine from the kidney.


When retroperitoneal fibrosis is responsible for hydronephrosis, corticosteroids may help to treat the condition. Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare cause of hydronephrosis. It is characterized by a mass of tissues or fibrosis in the area behind the intestines and the stomach. The fibrosis clogs the ureters that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Steroids may help to shrink the fibrosis.


Herbal remedies can provide relief from mild hydronephrosis caused by kidney stones. Herbs such as Phyllanthus niruri, horsetail and Boerhaavia diffusa can treat this condition by dissolving the kidney stones. Frequently herbs with diuretic properties such as parsley or water rich fruits such as watermelon are taken to increase the volume of urine output to flush out the smaller stones from the urinary tract.

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