Eastern Suburbs Urology


The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in the upper abdominal cavity, one on each side of the spine.
They play a vital role in maintaining overall health by filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood, regulating electrolyte balance, and producing hormones that influence blood pressure and red blood cell production.

Common Kidney Conditions

  • Overview: CKD refers to the gradual loss of kidney function over time.
  • Cause: Prolonged damage to the kidneys due to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, and recurrent kidney infections.
  • Symptoms: Initially asymptomatic. As CKD progresses, symptoms may include fatigue, swelling in the legs and ankles, increased urination (especially at night), foamy urine, decreased appetite, nausea, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Treatment: Managing the underlying cause, lifestyle changes (such as a healthy diet and exercise), medications to control blood pressure and treat complications, dialysis (haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) or kidney transplantation in advanced stages.
  • Overview: AKI refers to the sudden and severe loss of kidney function.
  • Cause: Sudden and severe damage to the kidneys, often due to conditions like dehydration, kidney infection, urinary blockage, medications, or reduced blood flow to the kidneys.
  • Symptoms: Decreased urine output, fluid retention, fatigue, confusion, nausea, shortness of breath.
  • Treatment: Identifying and treating the underlying cause, managing complications (fluid balance, electrolyte abnormalities), supportive care, dialysis in severe cases.
  • Overview: Kidney stones are hard mineral and salt deposits that form in the kidneys.
  • Cause: Crystallisation of substances such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in the kidneys.
  • Symptoms: Severe pain in the back or side (renal colic), blood in the urine, frequent urination, urgency to urinate, cloudy or foul-smelling urine.
  • Treatment: Drinking plenty of fluids to help pass small stones, medications for pain relief, medical procedures such as ureteroscopy, holmium laser therapy, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) to break or remove larger stones.
  • Overview: PKD is an inherited genetic disorder characterised by the growth of numerous fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys.
  • Cause: Inherited genetic mutation.
  • Symptoms: Abdominal pain, blood in the urine, high blood pressure, recurrent urinary tract infections, kidney stones, kidney failure.
  • Treatment: Managing symptoms and complications (blood pressure control, pain management, antibiotics for infections), dialysis or kidney transplantation in end-stage kidney failure.
  • Overview: Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of the glomeruli, the tiny filtering units within the kidneys.
  • Cause: Inflammation caused by infections, autoimmune diseases, or certain medications.
  • Symptoms: Blood in the urine, foamy urine, swelling (oedema) in the face, hands, feet, or abdomen, high blood pressure.
  • Treatment: Treating the underlying cause, medications to control blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and suppress the immune system if necessary.
  • Overview: Nephrotic syndrome is a collection of symptoms resulting from kidney damage, leading to excessive protein leakage into the urine.
  • Causes: Underlying causes can include glomerulonephritis, diabetes, amyloidosis, and certain medications.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms include severe edema, foamy urine, hypoalbuminemia (low blood albumin levels), and increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Treatment: Treatment aims to manage underlying conditions, reduce proteinuria, and control symptoms with medications like corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.
  • Overview: UTIs are bacterial infections that can affect the kidneys, bladder, and other parts of the urinary system.
  • Cause: Bacterial infection that enters the urinary tract.
  • Symptoms: Pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, urgency to urinate, cloudy or bloody urine, abdominal pain, fever.
  • Treatment: Antibiotics to eliminate the infection, drinking plenty of fluids, maintaining good hygiene, urinating frequently, and avoiding irritants (such as caffeine and alcohol).
  • Overview: Renal cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer that originates in the cells lining the renal tubules.
  • Causes: The exact cause is unclear, but risk factors include smoking, obesity, and a family history of kidney cancer.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms may include blood in urine, persistent pain in the side or back, a palpable mass in the abdomen, and unintentional weight loss.
  • Treatment: Treatment options include surgery (nephrectomy), targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, depending on the stage and extent of the cancer.
It is important to note that the information provided is a general overview, and specific cases may vary. If you have concerns about your kidney health or experience any symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

Dr Richard Savdie


Dr Savdie is a highly-experienced Sydney-based urologist and uro-oncology surgeon specialising in minimally-invasive robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

He consults and operates at multiple leading private and public hospitals around the Eastern Suburbs.