About the Kidney

The kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood to form urine. Urine flows from each kidney through a tube called the ureter to the bladder where it is stored until it is convenient to pass urine. From there, urine passes to the outside world through the prostate and urethra in men or the urethra alone in women.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, and are about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage. Each day, your kidneys process about 180 litres of blood to sift out about 1.5 litres of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine.

The wastes in your blood come from the normal breakdown and repair of bodily tissues and from food. Your body uses the food for energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, waste is sent to the blood. If your kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage your body.

Problems that can affect the kidneys includes:

    • urinary stones (calculi).
    • cancer (kidney or PUJ).
    • pelviureteric junction obstruction (also known as PUJ obstruction.