Health care providers used to find most megaureters when checking a child with a urinary tract infection. These patients often have fever, back pain, and vomiting.
But today, because of the widespread use of checking with ultrasound before birth, most megaureters are discovered as hydronephrosis or a stretched ("dilated") urinary tract in the fetus.
Because megaureters can cause severe infection or blocks that lead to kidney damage, this health issue can be serious. Urinary tract stretching may suggest a blockage, but that's not always the case. In some cases, a dilated ureter may not affect the kidney at all. Also, most patients with megaureters found before birth don't get symptoms. It's important to have it checked to make sure it won't affect the way the kidney works and cause problems later.