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hydronephrosis

My daughter is 21 weeks pregnant and has been dx with hydronephrosis. Is this a very serious condition and will the pain medicine they give her affect  the baby. Also will this damage her kidney in the long ruin. Is anyone on the board ever had this condition. Please help as I am very concerned and the Dr acts as if this is normal. I had 7 kids and never had this problem.
10 Responses
1035252 tn?1427231433
Well that depends on WHY she has hydronephrosis in my opinion. are her kidneys simply not working right, or does she have some sort of blockage? I had hydrponephrosis twice when I was pregnant with my daughter because of kidney stones, and I was on antibiotics and pain meds and my daughter turned out absolutely fine (delivered at 40wks, healthy weight, absolutely no problems mentally or physically so far...she's about a year and a half old now and very smart and healthy).

So I would definitely not worry about the pain meds....taking them is better for her than not taking them. The pain meds will only make the baby sleepy, but pain in the mother's body can affect the baby negatively because she would be releasing stress hormones. So don't worry about those.

But she definitely needs to keep getting it treated. properly treated hydronephrosis should go away without any lasting side effects (although if it's caused by stones then most likely she'll be prone to get them again during pregnancy...either this one or a successive pregnancy). Sometimes it can be caused by the baby's position and pressure being exerted on the kidneys, which will go away after delivery.

I ended up needing a stent to be inserted into my kidney ( the stent will run from your bladder to your kidney and it's a tube that drains the kidneys so they can function properly..and it can relieve pain) and if your daughter needs that surgery you can always send me a message and ask me about it....any surgery during pregnancy carries risks, but my surgery went without a hitch even though they completely put me under anesthesia with a breathing tube and everything.


Anyway sorry I tend to ramble when I answer posts, but my two answers would be:::

don't worry about the pain meds, they're fine, the doctor knows about her pregnancy and should be giving her the safe ones.

and secondly, potential damage to the kidney depends on WHY she has hydronephrosis...it requires slightly aggressive treatment (any increase in pain or lessening in urinary output must be seen to IMMEDIATELY) but in most cases can be treated successfully without long-term damage.

I really hope this helps....please send me a message if you're worried and want to ask any more questions. I don't know how much I can help because I'm not a doctor, but I went through this when I was pregnant and I would be happy to help in any way I can.
Avatar universal
Hi, thanks for the info. It is caused from the position where the baby has chosen to land and she is being followed by her OB and a Urologist. I just hate to see her in pain. The Dr said this is worse then labor and kidney stones and I am praying she doesn't have many more attacks. It is in her right kidney and never had a problem till she finished drinking the water for her US to see what the sex was .Then all heck broke loose. Unfortunately they said it will likly happn again soooooooooooo will be doing some heavy praying.
Thanks for the answer.
906115 tn?1344204109
I have never heard of this and it sounds bad, I feel bad for her. I was always told to try to aviod pain meds during the first trimester if you can. But when you have a serious condition you just have to talk with the dr about the risks and benifits and weight them. It sounds like she does need them to me! Maybe a bbok about problems in pregnancy willhave something detailed about it for her to read. I would not read to much online as some sites will not say to much about conditions in pregnancy or give the worst case senerio but a pregnancy book would and should have more. Also she should set up a longer appointment with her dr's do make sure she ahs enough time to discuss EVERYthing pertaining to her condition. What alternatives she ahs and things she should watch for. Have her write her concerns and questions down so she will remember them all. I hope she feels better and does nto get worse!
Avatar universal
Hi  Shado here.  Daughter has been on IV  per pump for about 12 hours and Dr told her today that this cause  possibly cause birth defects. They are taking her off now and putting her on Hydrodocone 7/500. Did you take any of these meds , my daughter is beside herself. She is in her 5th month and they really don't want to put the stent in this early as she isn't due till July. The pain is unbearable with pain meds.
1035252 tn?1427231433
I'm actually on a smaller dose of hydrocodone for breakthrough migraine pain with this pregnancy, and it's safe....what kind of IV pain pump do they have her on? they put me on one briefly at 24wks when I had hydronephrosis because of kidney stones, and then simple IV shots at 34wks when it recurred....I never had any trouble with the pain meds and was never told to worry about birth defects, especially after the 20wk mark because most things have formed by this point and they're simply finishing development.

I can understand them wanting to wait on the stent...when they put the stent in me at 33wks I was back a week later because the pain had gotten worse and not better, so they removed it at 34wks...I hated it. However, I had a stent inserted when I was 18 years old because I had a kidney stone that was causing toxic hydronephrosis and that didn't cause me ANY pain whatsoever...so it can go both ways.

for now all I can say is make sure that your daughter is advocating for herself... hydrocodone may work, it's a strong, fairly effective drug (and it IS considered safe) however for me it was not strong enough to deal with the pain of a swollen and blocked kidney....My heart hurts for your daughter because I know how bad the pain is. If she can't tolerate the pain she needs to go to her OB and say "we need to find something that is safe for the baby AND effective for me" because let's be honest...she's got another 20wks left of this, and pain in that extreme is not good for the baby either. there are plenty of pain medicines that are strong and have been used for generations (safely in almost all cases) on pregnant women, such as morphine. Make sure she's honest with them about her pain levels and they should be able to help her manage her pain and most importantly keep her and baby safe.

All that aside, I hope she can hang in there until the baby either moves and stops pushing on her kidney, allowing it to flow better (which is what inevitably helped me...I still had pretty bad kidney pain from 34-40wks but after my daughter was born the pain went away), or they insert the stent and hopefully give her some relief. Like I said you are always free to message me with a question...I wish I had a better answer for you.

But unfortunately the only thing I can say is...time, lots of fluids, pain management, and patience is what will get her through this. and trust me, it IS worse than labor! she'll have quite a story about overcoming obstacles when this is all over...<3
Avatar universal
Hi,  I have her home now and she has done good with only a dull ache. Then tonight she got the severe cramping that brought her to tears again. Did your pain act like this with small pain then a severe cramping pain .  I try to tell her to relax as it only makes the pain worse  but it is so hard for her to do. I just feel helpless except to softly rub her back. I only wish this would be over as it is so hard t o see her in pain. Thanks for all the help. Did you push a lot of water also.
Avatar universal
the pain meds may cause the baby to have withdrawls if she is on them continuous up until delivery. i am on quite a few. but as far as birth defects it is not really known
Avatar universal
My daughter is also suffering from bilateral hydronephrosis at 16 weeks pregnant.  Her first trimester was terrible, she had morning sickness and threw up several times almost every day.  Only a week without that went by before she ended up in the hospital with this problem.  The doctor said to drink twice as much water as usual, but when the kidneys are already backed up, does this really help or just cause more pressure on them?  Anyway - did your doctor recommend a special diet - food to avoid or foods to eat?  It seems her bouts come after eating in the evening.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!
1035252 tn?1427231433
Hey sweetie I'm so sorry that your daughter is going through this. it's ironic that you posted this today, because I'm at the urologist's office right now awaiting scheduling for a surgery to remove 2 kidney stones that are backing up my kidneys and causing hydronephrosis. Irony? seriously! anyway..

drinking more water helps because it dilutes the concentration of the urea in the kidney....it's not necessarily better for the pain, yes it causes more pressure, but it's less likely for her to have a toxic back-up if she's flushing out as much of the toxins as possible.

heat on her back will help...you may want to ask her OB just ot be sure because some OBs are pretty picky about heat application during pregnancy but usually heat on the back is OK. she's only 16wks? have they given her any options? if it's positional hydronephrosis (caused by the baby's position and pressure on her kidneys) then it will worsen as she gets further along and may require stent insertion. stents are small tubes (similar to heart stents) inserted that run from the bladder to the kidneys to force open the ureter and allow the kidneys to drain. it does require anesthetized surgery which is always a hard choice during pregnancy, but it may become her only option. I had to have it at 32wks pregnant and my daughter turned out fine..she just turned 2, actually :).

please message me if you have any more questions...I don't know of any diet changes that would help except that foods high in caffeine and acid will upset her UT system and can increase her pain so they should be avoided.

best of luck to your daughter!
Avatar universal
My daughter was diagnosed with it when i was pregnant with her in both kidneys. when she was born one was normal and the other still had it. when she was 3 months old they did some nuclear radiation ultra sounds on her. Her kidneys seemed to be doing what they needed to be. She had a piece of tissue blocking where her ureter tube joined her kidney.We did ultra sounds every 6 months until she was out of the infant stage and then did them every year. Well we missed a year due to Hurricane Ike and she was getting sick. Not eating and sleeping 13 to 14 hours at a time. Not normal for a 5 year old. So we did an ultrasound and they sent us to UTMB in Galveston to see a specialist and they ram more ultrasounds on her and also a radiation one as well. (where they can watch the dye move through her tubes into her kidney and out) Her kidney was only working 30% and some of the meat around it had to begun to deteriorate.  So we did surgery. An hour and half surgery was a 4 hour surgery. Her ureter tube was longer than suppose to be and also tinier in diameter so it took them longer for that reason. They removed the obstruction (the tissue) and then re-connected her ureter tube to her kidney. We go back in February 2011 for her one year check up. She has finally started to gain weight and eating now. He kidney that was working the 70% was swollen it pushed down on her stomach and made her seem full all the time when she would only eat half of her meals. Her scar looks great too.  They used the glue on it. So I hope everything turns out ok for your daughter. Until she has then baby they really can't do any nuclear radiation on her to see where the dye is going and not going to determine what Hydronephrosis she has.
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