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Hydronephrosis in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

Hydronephrosis is swelling in one or both of your child's kidneys caused by urine buildup. Urine normally flows from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. A blockage in the ureters can prevent urine from flowing properly. Blocked urine flow may be caused by a narrow ureter, a kidney stone, or reflux (urine travels back up to the kidney). It may also be caused by abnormal structure of your child's kidney. Examples include a ureter that drains outside the bladder or swelling at the bottom of the ureters.



Follow up with your child's healthcare provider or urologist as directed:

Your child will need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's abdomen feels full.
  • Your child has a change in how much or how often he or she urinates.
  • Your child cannot control when he or she urinates and has accidents.
  • Your child has low back pain or pain on one side when he or she urinates.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child has severe, stabbing back pain.
  • Your child has blood in his or her urine.
  • Your child cannot urinate, or he or she urinates very little.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

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