“Baggy kidney” – or hydronephrosis – is a condition where urine builds up inside one or both kidneys causing them to become stretched and swollen.
Causes of hydronephrosis
The most common cause of hydronephrosis is a blockage somewhere in your urinary tract, or something disrupting the normal workings of your bladder. This causes urine to flow back from the bladder and into the kidney.
As such, the main causes of the condition are:
For most cases, surgery is required to drain urine away from the kidneys and remove any blockage.
This is usually done using a catheter – a thin tube is inserted into your bladder through the urinary tract, or directly into the kidney through a small incision.
In very severe cases, a kidney may need to be removed.
The underlying cause will then need to be treated. For example, kidney stones can be operated on or broken up so they can be passed, and stents can be used to open damaged ureters.
The outlook for hydronephrosis is generally good as long as the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly. If left untreated for several weeks, the kidney may become scarred, and this can have an effect on the normal kidney function.
Elevated liver enzymes
When the liver is damaged, it releases enzymes into the blood. By assessing the levels of enzyme, you can see how much damage there is.
The causes of high liver enzymes can include:
Slightly elevated liver enzymes are usually of little concern and return to normal in a short period of time. But they do need to be monitored, usually by re-checking enzyme levels within a few months to ensure there is not a trend of the enzymes levels continuing to rise as this would indicate a potential problem.
Answered by our team of Health at Hand nurses.
Kidney stones – NHS factsheet
Bladder stones – NHS factsheet
Hydronephrosis – NHS factsheet
We’re here to help you take care of your health - whenever you need us, wherever you are, whether you're an AXA PPP healthcare member or not.
Our Ask the Expert service allows you to ask our team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counsellors and pharmacists about any health topic.