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Surgery for Enlarged Kidneys in Children

Provided by Expert Zhang Youkang on 2014-03-11 02:25

Height is the most important contributing factor for renal growth. As children grow with age, their kidneys will also increase in size. However, if the size of kidneys is relatively larger for their age, it is not a normal condition. Enlarged kidneys are commonly seen in children. Is surgery effective for enlarged kidneys in children?

It is difficult to answer if surgery is effective for enlarged kidneys in children. As the causes of enlarged kidneys in children are different, the treatment also varies with the cause.

Causes of enlarged kidneys in children

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

PKD is a genetic disorder including autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD) and autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD). ARPKD is often detected among fetus. Enlarged kidney is a typical sign of the disease. Only a small part of children with ARPKD can live to adulthood.

In PKD, numerous cysts grow in kidneys. It is not possible to eliminate all of them with surgery. Up to now, there has not been an effective treatment for ARPKD.


Hydronephrosis is a condition, in which urine is overfilling the kidney. This condition can affect only one or both of kidneys. In right condition, the urinary system can filter waste and extra fluid from body in the form of urine. However, a number of conditions can affect this process, leading to backup of urine. The excess urine in kidney can cause enlarged kidneys in children.

In this case, surgery is generally used. There is a very high success rate. However, if the surgery does not work well, chronic kidney disease (CKD) will result. If kidney damage results, an alternative treatment will be required.

In addition, kidney stone, cystic kidney disease and so forth also can contribute to enlarged kidneys in children. In these conditions, the treatment should also be prescribed based on patients’ specific condition.

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