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Question : I have been diagnosed with hydronephrosis due to ureteropelvic junction obstruction by a kinked ureter. Should I see a urologist or nephrologist?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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June 10, 2014
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You should see a urologist.

But let’s start with what hydronephrosis means. It’s a condition in which a kidney becomes swollen because something blocks the normal flow of urine out of the kidney.

The block can be in the:

  • Ureter. (This is the tube that starts in the kidney and ends in the bladder.)
  • Inside the bladder.
  • In the urethra (This is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body.)

The ureteropelvic junction is located at the top of the ureter where it first exits from the kidney.

A nephrologist is a doctor trained in internal medicine, with extra training to diagnose and treat kidney diseases. These can include diabetic kidney disease and kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis). These doctors help people with kidney disease prevent the onset of kidney failure. Or at least delay it. If kidneys do fail, these specialists manage dialysis and help arrange for kidney transplants.

A urologist is a doctor trained to evaluate and treat urinary tract problems that often need a procedure or surgery. Examples are prostate diseases (including prostate cancer), kidney stones that block the flow of urine, and bladder diseases (including bladder cancer).

Your problem of a kinked ureter with hydronephrosis would be treated by a urologist.

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