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Obstructive Nephropathy

Renal Clinic of Houston

Nephrology located in Katy, TX & Memorial City, Houston, TX

Obstructive nephropathy can cause mild to severe pain and make it difficult to urinate. The experienced physicians at the Renal Clinic of Houston provide prompt treatment of obstructive nephropathy to ease your symptoms and prevent potential complications. If you need to schedule an appointment, call the office in Memorial City in Houston, Katy, or North Cypress, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Obstructive Nephropathy Q&A

What is obstructive nephropathy?

chronic kidney disease

Obstructive nephropathy, also called obstructive uropathy, occurs when a blockage interferes with the flow of urine. When urine can't drain normally, it can back up into your kidneys and cause pressure and swelling inside the bladder and kidneys.

Without treatment, an ongoing obstruction can lead to bladder damage, chronic kidney disease, and kidney failure.

You may develop obstructive nephropathy from many causes, including:

  • Ureteral stones (kidney stones stuck in the ureter)
  • Enlarged prostate (the most common cause in men)
  • Nerve damage (in nerves that control your bladder)
  • Bladder stones
  • Scarring of the ureters or urethra
  • Bladder or ureteral cancer
  • Cervical or uterine cancer
  • Advanced prostate cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

Obstructive nephropathy may also appear due to inherited conditions. For example, a congenital condition, ureterocele, blocks urine due to a widening of the ureter inside the bladder.

What symptoms develop due to obstructive nephropathy?

The severity of your symptoms depends on the extent of the blockage and whether the blockage involves one or both kidneys. Once symptoms appear, you may experience:

  • Pain in one or both sides
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Swelling in the kidney
  • Fluid buildup and bloating
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dribbling urine
  • Inability to empty your bladder
  • Urinating during the night
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Blood in your urine

As soon as you recognize any of these symptoms, you should seek a prompt evaluation at the Renal Clinic of Houston. With early treatment, the team can often treat obstructive nephropathy. But the longer it goes on, the higher your risk of complications.

How is obstructive nephropathy treated?

Your provider reviews your symptoms, completes a physical exam, and performs diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound or CT scans to determine the location and cause of the blockage.

They tailor your treatment to deal with the underlying cause and improve urine flow. Men may need one of several possible treatments for an enlarged prostate, ranging from medications to minimally invasive techniques.

Other possible treatments include minimally invasive procedures to remove scarred tissue or stones, nephrostomy tubes to bypass the blockage, and temporary stents to drain urine. The team at the Renal Clinic of Houston refers you to an oncologist when cancer causes the blockage.

If you develop symptoms of obstructive nephropathy, call the Renal Clinic of Houston or book an appointment online today.