|Ectopic Kidney |
An ectopic kidney is a birth defect that affects approximately 1 in every 1,000 births. A kidney that is not in the correct location is considered ectopic.
Some patients that have an ectopic kidney will not experience any complications, but others will experience kidney failure, urinary stones, urine blockage or infections of the urinary tract. An ectopic kidney is caused when one or both of the kidneys fails to move upwards during fetal development, is stuck in the pelvis or is found in the chest cavity.
Sometimes, one of the kidneys will cross over to the opposite side of the body and fuse with the other kidney. Prenatal ultrasound may diagnose an ectopic pregnancy before the child is born. After birth, a doctor can diagnose an ectopic kidney through ultrasound examinations, x-rays, nuclear scans, CT scans and MRI's.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and what symptoms are present. If there is no blockage and the child is not developing stones or infections, no treatment is generally necessary. Surgery is necessary if there is an obstruction present or if kidney damage is severe.