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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Hydronephrosis isn’t a disease. Instead, it indicates an impairment in your child’s urinary flow causing a kidney to swell. In diagnosing hydronephrosis, your doctor will search for what is causing the impairment to determine the best treatment for your child.
You may hear your child’s hydronephrosis described as:
These terms simply name when the diagnosis happened. (They are not saying anything about the condition itself.)
Signs of hydronephrosis may first show up on a routine prenatal ultrasound (sonography). The test transmits high-frequency sound waves into the uterus. The echoes that bounce back are recorded and made into an image of your baby. It will show the size and shape of your child’s kidneys, as well as the amount of amniotic fluid. It also can help reveal obstructions in the urinary system.
However, doctors usually can’t make a precise diagnosis of hydronephrosis based on ultrasound findings.
If an ultrasound indicates your child may have hydronephrosis, your obstetrician will monitor your pregnancy more closely and may perform more frequent ultrasound testing to check for any changes over time. While your child is being monitored, your caregivers will take precise measurements of your child’s kidneys and the level of amniotic fluid.
For newborns and older children, doctors may use some or all of the following tests to help determine the cause and nature of the hydronephrosis:
After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”