You should be aware of a certain condition in which the kidney is located below, above or opposite to its usual position. This is a congenital defect, which occurs when the kidney of the fetus does not move to its designated position during the stage of fetal development. In many cases, instead of moving up to its assigned position, one of the kidneys is located very close to the urinary bladder and pelvis. At times, the kidney may move upwards excessively or go to the opposite side to fuse with the other kidney.
An ectopic kidney occurs during the process of fetal development. The term ectopic refers to an out-of-place organ. When one kidney stays in the pelvis, moves upward to fuse with the second kidney, or moves higher than its normal position, ectopic kidney is formed. This defect in movement may occur due to genetic defects, defects in the kidney tissue, exposure of the mother to certain drugs and chemicals during pregnancy or a certain illness, which leads to kidney defects in the developing baby. An underdeveloped kidney bud is another likely cause.
Patients with ectopic kidneys might suffer from urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney stones, which may lead to symptoms such as fever and abdominal pain. Vesicoureteric reflux is present in some people where the urine may flow back to the kidney from the bladder causing infections. Urinary tract anomalies, skeletal malformation and reproductive disorders may also be observed.
Generally, if no symptoms are experienced, then no treatment is required for ectopic kidneys. The associated conditions such as kidney stones, backflow of urine, urine accumulation and cross fused kidneys require surgical treatment. Ectopic kidneys occur before birth, which usually does not cause much harm, but in case of associated conditions, you must consult a doctor for proper diagnosis of the problem and its treatment.