My Son Has Both His Kidneys on the Same Side

Updated on December 16, 2010
L.Z. asks from Oak Lawn, IL
4 answers

I just found out that my son has both his kidenys on the same side and he had 2 urine infections in a row recently, any advise if these tho things are related?

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answers from Houston on

Yes, uti's can be related to this, More info about it here:

"Renal ectopia or ectopic kidney describes a kidney that is not located in its usual position. Ectopic kidneys are thought to occur in approximately one in 1,000 births, but only about one in 10 of these are ever diagnosed. Some of these are discovered incidentally, such as when a child or adult is having surgery or an X-ray for a medical condition unrelated to the renal ectopia. Ectopic kidneys can be located anywhere along the path of their usual ascent from where they initially form to where normal kidneys lie in the upper abdomen. Simple renal ectopia refers to a kidney that is located on the proper side but is in an abnormal position. Crossed renal ectopia refers to a kidney that has crossed from the left to the right side (or vice versa) so that both kidneys are located on the same side of the body. These kidneys may or may not be fused. It is important to note that renal ectopia is frequently associated with congenital abnormalities of other organ systems.

SYMPTOMS: The function of the kidney itself is generally not abnormal to begin with, but because of the change in the usual anatomic relationships, the kidney may have difficulty draining. Up to 50 percent of ectopic kidneys are at least partially blocked. Over time, obstruction can lead to serious complications, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones and kidney failure. Ectopic kidneys are also associated with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), a condition where urine backs up from the bladder through the ureters into the kidneys. Over time, VUR can lead to infections that also can destroy the kidney. Interestingly, the non-ectopic kidney can also have functional abnormalities such as obstruction or VUR.

The most common symptoms related to the ectopic kidney that lead to diagnosis include urinary tract infections, abdominal pain or a lump that can be felt in the abdomen.


Treatment for the ectopic kidney is only necessary if obstruction or vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is present. If the kidney is not severely damaged by the time the abnormality is discovered, the obstruction can be relieved or the VUR corrected with an operation. However, if the kidney is badly scarred and not working well, removing it may be the best choice."

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5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

great question for a doc and if i had to guesss of course its related


great question for a doc and if i had to guesss of course its related


answers from Modesto on

gosh... prayers to you. Sounds like some surgery might be in your little ones future. Do it now while he is young if it's possible to save him from the trauma when he's older.


answers from Boise on

I just read the wiki that Momma L. posted. It sounds like you will need to keep an eye on him. Ask his doctor what symptoms to look for, because he will likely have kidney/urinary problems more often than normal. You'll end up a UTI expert, I'm sure!

It also sounds like you need to ask his doctor to check your son for other problems, since it says that other organ systems often have abnormalities. Your son should be thoroughly checked out.

He may need some tests to see how well his kidneys are functioning. They won't take out his kidney unless it's not functioning well.

The fact that only one tenth of people with this problem are ever diagnosed says to me that while it may be a hassle, this isn't a life-altering diagnosis for your son.

Interestingly, my BIL was born with just one kidney. We tell him to stay away from caffeine and other things that are hard on kidneys, so he won't mess up the only one he's got. Learn all you can about what kidneys need, so you can teach your son to pamper his. He should drink a lot of water, because it keeps your blood more liquid, which is easier for your kidneys to filter. Imagine pouring milk through a strainer versus pouring a milkshake through a strainer.

Anyway, I'm going on and on about things that I'm sure are explained better elsewhere. Be assertive with your son's doctor. Get your questions answered. Baby his kidneys and teach him to do the same, and I'm sure this will fade into the background of your life.

Next question: Renal Ultrasound