Definition of kidney abscess
Abscess is a term for the collection of pus in any part of the body, including the kidneys. Kidney abscesses include abscesses in the abdominal cavity that are very rare and often undetected.
Because the symptoms of kidney abscess tend to be nonspecific, so the diagnosis is difficult. As a result, treatment is often late.
Delay in treatment of kidney abscess can be fatal because it can cause serious complications. For example, peritonitis (infection of the peritoneum or abdominal organ wrapping), infection of the skin around the kidney abscess, even the spread of the infection to the chest cavity.
Therefore, recognizing the symptoms of kidney abscess early is very important so that patients can immediately get the right treatment.
Signs and symptoms of kidney abscess
Symptoms of kidney abscess can generally be:
- Fever and chills.
- Pain in the abdominal area.
- Uncomfortable feelings in the body that cannot be described.
- •Weight loss.
- Pain when urinating.
- Urine can be cloudy or bloody.
Causes of kidney abscess
The cause of kidney abscess is a bacterial infection that spreads from the lower urinary tract. But not all people who experience urinary tract infections (UTIs) will definitely lead to kidney abscesses.
There are several factors that potentially make a person more susceptible to kidney abscesses. Some of these include:
- Kidney inflammation.
- Kidney stone disease.
- Diabetes mellitus.
Urinary system abnormalities, such as neurogenic bladder.
Diagnosis of kidney abscess
As mentioned previously, the diagnosis of kidney abscess is often difficult to establish due to unclear symptoms.
At the initial examination, the doctor will ask various questions about the symptoms of kidney abscess and risk factors for the patient. After that, the doctor will do a physical examination.
The doctor then recommends a series of investigations to confirm the diagnosis of kidney abscess. These types of checks can be:
- Blood and urine tests. Both of these examinations aim to detect the presence or absence of signs of infection.
- Imaging, such as x-rays, ultrasound, or CT scan.
How to treat kidney abscesses
If the kidney abscess is under 3 cm in size, treatment can be given by injection of antibiotic drugs.
While patients with kidney abscesses who experience symptoms of blood flow disorders or have abscesses measuring 3 cm or more, the doctor will perform medical procedures in the form of percutaneous drainage or surgery.
How to prevent kidney abscesses
The main prevention of kidney abscess is to avoid risk factors. In addition, you can also reduce the risk through prevention of urinary tract infections in the following ways:
- Meet the needs of fluids, especially water. Adults are advised to consume at least 2 liters of water per day.
- Urinating after every sexual intercourse.
- Do not hold back urination
- Maintain cleanliness of vital organs and surroundings. For example, women are advised to wipe the vagina from front to back (towards the anus) so that bacteria from the anus does not spread to the vagina.
- Avoid using feminine cleaning products that can cause irritation. For example, soap containing perfume or harsh chemicals.
When to consult with a doctor
Consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of kidney abscess as above.
What needs to be prepared before consulting a doctor
When symptoms are first felt, you might go to a GP first. If you suspect your condition as a symptom of a kidney abscess, your GP will refer you to a urologist.
Before the examination, you can prepare the following:
- Make a list of the symptoms you feel.
- Make a history of the disease you have and are experiencing.
- Keep a record of medicines, herbal medicines, supplements, or vitamins that you consume.
- Write down the questions you want to ask the doctor.
What will the doctor do at the time of consultation
During the examination, the doctor may ask the following questions:
- What symptoms do you feel?
- When did the symptoms begin?
- Do you have risk factors that increase your chances of having a kidney abscess?
- What are the history of illness that you are or have experienced?
- What is the history of the illness suffered by your family?
- Did you seek treatment and how did it go?
In addition, the doctor will also conduct a physical examination and can recommend supporting examinations to confirm the diagnosis of kidney abscess before giving treatment.