Children’s kidneys filter out toxins from the blood, turning them into urine that flows down tubes (ureters) to the bladder where urine is stored until they go to the bathroom. Sometimes when children are developing before birth, the kidneys, urethra or bladder can develop congenital kidney conditions (kidney birth defects) that keep them from working normally.

If the ureter is blocked, urine may build up in the child’s kidney in a condition called hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis in infants is often caused by a birth defect that blocks the ureter or allows urine to flow backward from the bladder or kidney. Older children may develop hydronephrosis if they have a kidney stone.

Sometimes hydronephrosis clears up on its own, but in other cases your child may need surgery to help their kidney, ureter and bladder work properly. At CHKD, we perform pediatric urology surgery to repair hydronephrosis and improve your child’s kidney health.

Another kidney birth defect, called multicystic dysplastic kidney, happens when one kidney does not form correctly. In most cases, the other healthy kidney can function normally and do all the work necessary to keep the child well. Though multicystic dysplastic kidneys have no symptoms, they can be diagnosed during an ultrasound before your child is even born.

Usually children need no treatment for a multicystic dysplastic kidney. However, since about half of children with multicystic dysplastic kidneys have another kidney problem, your child should have regular visits with pediatric urologists to keep an eye on his kidney health.

CHKD pediatric urologists offer comprehensive medical and surgical care for kidney conditions. From routine office visits to advanced pediatric kidney surgery, we offer the treatments your child needs to have a healthy, active childhood.

Learn more about pediatric urology services at CHKD online or by calling (757) 668-7878.