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Neonatal Hydronephrosis


Neonatal hydronephrosis is a condition that prevents your newborn's urine from draining properly into his bladder. Extra urine collects and overfills the kidneys. This stretches and enlarges the kidneys, causing pain, bleeding, or infection.


Informed consent:

Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your newborn may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your newborn's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your newborn. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Foley catheter:

A Foley catheter may be guided through your newborn's urethra into his bladder to help drain urine.

Intake and output:

Healthcare providers may need to measure how much your newborn drinks and urinates. Keep track of how long your newborn breastfeeds or how much formula he drinks. Healthcare providers will weigh your newborn's diapers. Do not throw away diapers.


An IV is a small tube placed in your newborn's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.


Antibiotics may be given to help prevent an infection caused by bacteria if your newborn has urine reflux.


Your newborn may be given a dye before some of the following tests to help healthcare providers see the organs better. Tell the healthcare provider if your newborn or a family member has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • Blood and urine tests will be used to monitor kidney function.
  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your newborn's kidneys and bladder on a monitor. An ultrasound may show urine buildup and if the kidneys are swollen or enlarged. It will also show blocked urine flow, cysts, or abnormal structure.
  • A voiding cystourethrogram , or VCUG, is an x-ray that will show urinary reflux and if it is severe. The pictures will show how well your newborn's bladder empties and if there is any blockage.
  • A kidney scan is a type of CT scan that will show how well your newborn's kidneys are working. This test may also show the cause of any blockage and if it is severe.


Surgery may be needed to remove blockage or cysts so urine can drain normally. Abnormal structure may be fixed or a shunt may be placed to help widen a narrowed part of the urethra.


Your newborn may develop an infection in his bladder or kidneys. This infection may spread to other organs or his blood and become severe. Without treatment, your newborn may develop kidney failure. This can lead to life-threatening problems, such as heart, liver, or brain damage.


You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby.

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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.

Learn more about Neonatal Hydronephrosis (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.