Ectopic Kidney

What is ectopic kidney?

An ectopic kidney is a birth defect in which the kidney appears in the wrong location - either above, below or on the opposite side of its normal position.

What are the symptoms of ectopic kidney?

The most common symptoms of ectopic kidney are abdominal pain and trouble urinating. But it can occur without causing symptoms, and an ectopic kidney can even function normally. Your physician may only identify it after finding an abnormal lump in your baby's abdomen or while reviewing ultrasound, X-ray or MRI tests taken for another purpose.

Your baby may be at risk for certain complications if he or she has ectopic kidney. Most of these issues are related to urine drainage - in some cases, ectopic kidney can cause a vesicoureteral reflux, a condition in which urine flows backwards from the bladder to the kidney. These complications can later cause infection, kidney stones or kidney damage. If your child's ectopic kidney is in the lower abdomen or pelvis, that can make her or him more susceptible to serious injury from blunt contact to the area.

What causes ectopic kidney?

Ectopic kidney can result from:

  • poor development of a kidney bud (the kidneys first appear as buds inside the pelvis)
  • a defect in the kidney tissue responsible for prompting the kidney to move to its usual position
  • genetic abnormalities
  • the mother being sick or being exposed to an agent, such as a drug or chemical, that causes birth defects


What is the treatment for ectopic kidney?

If your child's ectopic kidney doesn't cause symptoms, there may be no need to treat it. If it does cause any of these complications, surgery may be necessary to move the kidney to the right position, or to address the specific complication. In extreme cases, where kidney failure occurs, your physician may advise removing the kidney.

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Treatments for Ectopic Kidney

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Symptoms and Screenings for Ectopic Kidney

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Causes and Preventions for Ectopic Kidney

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Education and Resources for Ectopic Kidney

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Support groups for Ectopic Kidney

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