Kidney blockage causes the blocked kidney to fail in its role to get rid of toxic chemicals from the body. If there are two working kidneys this may not make a person unwell, but could cause pain. If the blocked kidney is the only working kidney, or if both kidneys are blocked, this can lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal.

Kidneys can be blocked at any point from the kidney down to the outside. Above the bladder the commonest cause of blockage is a kidney stone, and below the bladder the commonest cause is an enlarged prostate in men, and a narrowed water pipe (urethra) in women. Cancers, scarring and inflammation could cause blockage throughout the system.


Treatment depends on the cause of the blockage and the problems that the blockage is causing. This could mean a catheter into the bladder to overcome an enlarged prostate or a tube into the kidney (either an internal stent or external nephrostomy) to directly drain the kidney. Such tubes are usually only a temporary solution (although they can be useful long-term) and ideally the underlying cause of blockage needs treatment.

Our Consultants are very experienced at managing this condition and will be able to help plan appropriate treatment.