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What is hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis is a disease of the kidneys in which there is dilation of the collecting system caused by poor urinary elimination.

This problem can be caused by mechanical causes (such as an obstruction in the urinary tract, vesicoureteral reflux, kidney stones...) or by physiological causes (infections of the urinary tract) that produce in the long run, compression and atrophy of the renal parenchyma, becoming less functional.

Hydronephrosis must be treated medically to prevent it from progressing to chronic renal failure.

Is there any indication in terms of food or drink that I should know about to help my child?

There is no proper diet for children (or patients in general) with vesicoureteral reflux, however, a diet with high water consumption will help maintain a hypoosmotic urine production, which will keep many of the urinary tract infections at bay.

It is also advisable to reduce consumption of coffee and soft drinks because they can irritate the walls of the urinary tract and cause discomfort when urinating.

Is it hereditary? Could your siblings have it? What about your future children?

Observations made to pediatric patients with VUR have shown that there is a clear relationship between the family or genetic factor and the appearance of the disease, for example, the incidence among siblings has a probability of 27 per cent and the incidence between parents and children is 36 per cent.

However, these factors may warn the obstetrician or pediatric physician from initiating monitoring of the disease and the most appropriate treatments.

It is estimated that between one and three per cent of children suffer from some type of primary vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), many of which do not even show signs of the disease.

What are the chances that my child's VUR can be fixed without surgery?

It is common to see a favourable progression of the disease to a natural solution, i.e., correction of the valve problem without the need for medical treatment (including medication).

However, more than half of the cases of vesicoureteral reflux of grade III or higher have a surgical solution, since the anatomical defect is too big to be repaired by itself.

So if my child was born with vesicoureteral reflux, they will no longer be able to have a normal life?

Although it is known that vesicoureteral reflux can have devastating long-term consequences if it is not treated in time, the life of children with this congenital problem can be normal as long as medical check-ups and other indications are fully complied with.