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Obstructive Uropathy -Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Obstructive Uropathy -Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
Sailaxmi Chennuru

Obstructive uropathy is a condition when the urine flow from the kidneys  is blocked by an obstruction anywhere along the urinary tract. The urinary tract system consists of kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra which are all  involved in the excretion of urine from the body. A blockage along this system can cause urine to backward into your kidneys. This backflow of urine causes swelling of the kidneys which is known as hydronephrosis.

Obstructive uropathy can be sudden or can occur gradually over a long period of time. It can affect one or both kidneys and can affect both males and females at any age. 

Not seeking prompt medical treatment can lead to severe kidney damage. Fortunately, most causes of obstruction can be corrected. However, if the obstruction is severe and  causes significant damage to both kidneys, you may need dialysis or maybe even a kidney transplant.

Causes of Uropathy

Obstructive uropathy affects people of all age groups, but most cases occur in infants and the elderly. In infants, the most common reason is congenital defects in the urinary tract. An enlarged prostate is one of the most common reasons for obstructive uropathy in men over 60 . Uropathy is significantly less common in females.

Other causes of obstruction include

  • Kidney stones trapped in ureters
  • Bladder tumor
  • Urethral stricture or stenosis of the urethral opening
  • Cancer of the ureter or urinary bladder
  • Scar tissue in the urethra
  • Blood clots
  • Bladder problems due to nerve damage
  • Pelvic fractures 
  • Disease of the digestive tract
  • Tumor or masses present in kidneys, bladder, uterus, or colon

Symptoms of Obstructive Uropathy

The onset of obstructive uropathy can be abrupt and acute or slow and progressive. Pain is the most common symptom of uropathy which varies from person to person and depends on the level and location of the obstruction. A partial blockage can cause minimal to no pain; however, a complete obstruction may lead to severe pain, nausea and vomiting.

Some of the common symptoms of uropathy include:

In extreme cases, you may notice changes in the color of your urine, have swelling in your arms and legs, and might develop high blood pressure.

Diagnosing Obstructive Uropathy 

If you experience any of the above symptoms,  seek medical attention immediately for proper diagnosis and management. Diagnosis usually includes general diagnostic tests such as urinalysis and blood work to check for a possible infection. In order to find the blockage, imaging tests, such as a renal scan, abdominal CT scan, MRI, etc., may be required. An ultrasound scan of your pelvic region and kidneys will show if urine flows back into your kidneys.

Treatment for Urinary Tract Obstruction 

Treatment for urinary tract obstruction mainly focuses on removing urine build-up, relieving pressure, preventing permanent damage to the kidneys, and treating the underlying condition. However, treatment will depend on the kind of obstruction found during diagnostic testing. Your doctor may adopt the following treatment strategies:

  1. Catheterization: The first and foremost important step is draining the kidneys and bladder to remove urine build-up. This alsoprovides immediate symptomatic relief.
  2. Kidney catheter: A catheter is inserted through your skin into your kidney, which helps drain urine directly from your kidney into a collection bag outside of the  body.
  3. Urinary catheter: Your doctor may insert a thin tube called a urinary catheter, most likely a foley catheter, into your  bladder to allow urine to drain. Additionally, intermittent catheters are also useful, which are inserted into the urethra to empty the bladder fully.
  4. Stent placement: A thin tube is placed into the ureter to hold it open so urine can pass freely.
  5. Surgery: Simply emptying the bladder is considered short-term relief, and complete resolution of obstructive uropathy will often require surgery. The surgeon can remove tumors and masses that are formed in and around the ureters. Once the blockage is removed from the affected ureter, urine can pass freely intothe bladder.
  6. Lithotripsy: Lithotripsy is a non-invasive procedure to break down kidney, bladder, or ureteric stones that maybe causing the obstruction.
  7. Hormonal Therapy: If prostate cancer is causing uropathy; hormonal therapy may be used in combination with other treatments.
  8. Antibiotic Therapy: Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat any associated urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Top 5 Catheter Supplies for Obstructive Uropathy 

1. Cure Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter 

Designed for sterile intermittent catheterization for men with uropathy who have trouble emptying the bladder completely. Intermittent catheterization is the periodic emptying of the bladder by inserting a catheter into the urethra. 

The hydrophilic coude tip catheter is activated by sterile water included in the package. The hydrophilic coating ensures that the surface of the catheter is lubricated during insertion and remains slippery for removal which helps to  prevent damage to the urethra.

Features of Cure Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

  • Smooth polished eyelets for enhanced comfort.
  • The hydrophilic coating ensures quick lubrication.
  • Sterile water packet for easy, mess-free, and stain-free hydration.
  • Textured advancer/gripper for clean, easy catheter insertion.
  • Not made with DEHP/DINP, BPA, or Natural Rubber Latex.
Cure Male Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter With Coude Tip



2. Poiesis Duette Dual-Balloon Two-Way Foley Catheter

A 100% silicone, self-retaining balloon catheter that provides safe and comfortable catheterization. Foley catheter is deemed useful to help drain the bladder in acute obstructive uropathy. The innovative dual balloon design reduces bladder wall trauma providing a safe and comfortable means of catheterization.

Features of Poiesis Duette Dual-Balloon Foley Catheter 

  • 10cc proximal balloon and 5cc distal balloon for ultimate comfort and safety
  • Second distal balloon cushions the catheter tip preventing trauma to the bladder wall and reducing incidents of CAUTIs.
  • Drainage eyes located between the two balloons prevent aspiration damage to the defensive lining of the bladder.
Poiesis Duette Dual-Balloon Two-Way Foley Catheter



3. McKesson Female Straight Tip Intermittent Catheter 

Developed for easy and quick self-catheterization for women who experience urinary retention due to urinary tract obstruction can perform self-catheterization without assistance. 

Features of McKesson Female Straight Tip Catheter

  • Designed for quick and easy self-catheterization.
  • Straight design enables patients who have chronic bladder problems to perform self-catheterization.
  • Polished eye help minimize utethral damage and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Staggered eyes for maximum urine flow.
  • Color-coded to easily indicate the french size of the catheter.
  • Non-coated catheter manufactured from clear PVC.
  • Polished eyes minimize urethral trauma and reduce the risk of CAUTIs.
  • Flexible funnel end with ridged design allows for grip and ease of handling.
McKesson Female Intermittent Catheter - Straight Tip



4. Bard Lubricath Drainage Bag Foley Tray

Featuring a latex foley catheter pre-connected to a drainage bag and the Uro-Prep tray which contains all of the materials needed for smoother insertion.  The hydrogel coating it has the unique ability to absorb fluid and creates a hydrophilic cushion between the catheter surface and the urethra making it more comfortable for the patient.            

Features of Bard Lubricath Drainage Bag Foley Tray 

  • Latex allows atraumatic insertion of the catheter for enhanced patient comfort.
  • Tamper-Evident Seal reduces bacterial contamination.
  • Hydrogel coating of foley catheter maintains integrity throughout the use, resulting in less trauma upon removal.
  • The unique domed design of the anti-reflux chamber prevents urine reflux from the urine drainage bag.
  • The urinary drainage bag features a bag vent to assist in  drainage
Bard Lubricath Drainage Bag Foley Tray with Tamper-Evident Seal and Anti-Reflux Chamber



5. Advantage Close Fit Male Urinal System

Ideal for men who have the sudden urge to urinate, especially during the night. This male urinal system is used to drain urine from the urinal, through the tube, into the attached urinary bag. The attached drainage bag has an anti-reflux valve which prevents urine backflow. Easy to use and perfect for patients who find it difficult to get out of bed. 

Features of Advantage Close Fit Male Urinal System

  • Provides a better seal and protection from infection with a non-absorbant, germ resistant comfort ring.
  • A large attached  drainage bag that does not need emptying until morning, even if used several times through the night.
  • Simple to use and empty.
  • Features a bed clamp making it easy to hang on the bed frame.
  • An anti-reflux valve enables fluids to stay in the drainage bag without spillage or backflow.
Advantage Close Fit Male Urinal System



Obstructive uropathy is a serious condition. If you experience any symptoms of  urinary tract obstruction, talk to your doctor. Timely treatment can prevent extensive kidney damage. Health Products For You offers a vast collection of urological supplies from leading manufacturers to help improve health and quality of life


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Sailaxmi Chennuru

Sailaxmi Chennuru

Sailaxmi Chennuru, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2017. A business management graduate, the study of anatomy has always been of interest to her.

After working as a medical transcriptionist for several years, she developed a keen interest ...

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