severe Complicated Urinary Tract Infection

What You Need To Know About Severe Complicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common condition, with a large percentage of people suffering from this issue. While most UTIs can be successfully treated with antibiotics, in rare cases, the infection can become severe and complicated, causing more severe symptoms and potentially even leading to life-threatening illnesses if left untreated.

Severe Complicated UTIs (SCUTIs) are defined as infections that involve the ureters, urethra, bladder and/or kidney. The infection can cause a disruption of the entire urinary tract, leading to serious issues that can lead to lasting damage if not treated quickly and effectively. Left untreated, SCUTIs can also lead to severe kidney damage, high blood pressure, renal failure, sepsis or even death.

Fortunately, there are ways to identify and successfully treat SCUTIs. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of SCUTIs, as well as available treatments, in order to get the best outcome.

Signs and Symptoms of Severe Complicated UTIs

The symptoms of SCUTIs can vary greatly, depending on the location and severity of the infection. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen, groin, or flank region
  • Urine that contains blood or pus
  • Difficulty in urinating or having a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • High fever
  • Urine with a foul odor and/or cloudy appearance
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Chills

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to prevent further complications.

Diagnosis of Severe Complicated UTIs

In order to diagnose a SCUTI, your doctor will need to collect a urine sample to check for signs of a bacterial infection. Your doctor may also take a CT scan, MRI or x-ray image to determine the location of the infection.

Your doctor may want to do cultures of the infected area in order to further identify the bacteria and determine the best antibiotic to treat it. In some cases, a cystoscope procedure may also be done to examine the interior of the bladder or urethra.

Treatment of Severe Complicated UTIs

The main treatment for SCUTIs is antibiotics, although severe complications may require hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antibiotics. The type of antibiotic prescribed to treat SCUTIs will depend on the specific bacteria causing the infection. Your doctor may need to take a urine culture to determine the best type of antibiotic for your condition.

For more severe cases of SCUTIs, surgery may be necessary to remove any obstructions or damaged tissue that may be preventing the infection from healing. In some cases, a procedure called a urinary tract pressure release may be done to reduce the pressure in the urinary tract.


Anytime you experience symptoms of a UTI, it is important to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Severe and complicated UTIs should be taken seriously and addressed immediately to prevent further complications and long-term damage.