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blockage or constriction at any point in the urinary tract that impedes the normal flow of urine and causes urine to be retained in the bladder or kidneys. When an obstruction causes urine to become backed up into the kidneys, the condition is known as hydronephrosis. Obstructions in the urinary tract cause distension of the walls of the bladder, ureter, or renal pelvis, depending on the location of the obstruction, which can occur in the urethra, bladder, or ureters.