Hydronephrosis - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of hydronephrosis?

There may or may not be direct symptoms of hydronephrosis depending upon the underlying cause.

Individuals with acute hydronephrosis, for example symptoms from renal colic due to a kidney stone begin with an acute onset of intense flank or back pain radiating to the groin, associated with nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Colicky pain comes and goes and its intensity may cause the person to writhe or roll around or pace in pain. There may be blood seen in the urine.

Chronic hydronephrosis develops over time and there may be no specific symptoms. Tumors in the pelvis or bladder obstruction may develop silently and the person may have symptoms of kidney failure. These are often non specific and may include weakness, malaise, chest pain, shortness of breath, leg swelling, nausea and vomiting. If electrolyte abnormalities occur because the kidneys are unable to regulate sodium, potassium, and calcium, there may be heart rhythm disturbances and muscle spasms.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: televisionman, Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I have had ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction since I was born in 1956 and constantly been going to the emergency rooms for chronic pain in my left flank; it is hard to urinate and I have severe bleeding. In 1988 I had kidney surgery to correct this the hydronephrosis and it was successful until I had an artificial artery put in my left leg on 02/11. The vascular doctor wanted my urinary tract identified by my urologist and he installed a stent. This caused major issues! I went to a kidney specialist that did laparoscopic surgery twice, about five stents were installed, and I had kidney and urinary tract infections. Yesterday I had to go to the emergency room for chronic pain in my left kidney again. This has happened about fifteen times. I was not impressed with my doctor who had a very sour attitude and disposition. I changed doctors.

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Comment from: Lea, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

I went to the doctor in 2013 due to a small lump I felt on my right abdomen. Then I did some scan (ultrasound and MRI) and all types of urine test (normal). Later I found out I had mild hydronephrosis under MRI. I have been following up with my doctor for 1 year by now, but I got no symptoms of any kind, only some heaviness by my side. Hopefully this will heal on its own.

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