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Kidney and Bladder Problems Detected Before Birth by Ultrasound - Introduction

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These pages are to provide you with some further information as to why you have been referred to see a children’s kidney specialist (nephrologist) before your baby is born. We hope that the information will add to the explanation that you will already have received.

The detailed ultrasound carried out in pregnancy will give a GOOD IDEA of the problem affecting you child’s urinary tract (kidney, bladder and ureters - see diagram). The hospital will always be cautious to say that they never know PRECISELY what the problem is until baby is born and they have completed their investigations on baby after birth.

The hospital will explain to you what they think the most likely diagnosis is and how it is likely to be managed. As long as your baby is:

  1. growing well in the womb, and
  2. no other abnormalities have been found, and
  3. the volume of the liquor (womb fluid) is normal;

then overall your child’s kidneys are NOT likely to be significantly damaged. Few children require an operation after birth.

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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 149: Introduction written: 16/11/2005 last reviewed: 14/11/2020