About nephrology

Renal medicine or nephrology, is the branch of medicine that involves the diagnosis and management of people with diseases and conditions of the kidneys.

Renal services include the care of acutely ill patients as well as those with chronic illnesses who require long-term care.

Nephrologists are medical specialists who focus on disorders that affect the way the kidneys work, for example, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Nephrologists prescribe nonsurgical medical treatments for these disorders.

Conditions seen by a nephrologist may include:

  • acute kidney injury – the sudden loss of kidney function (also called acute kidney injury)

  • chronic, or long-term, renal failure – gradual worsening of kidney function

  • haematuria – blood loss in the urine

  • proteinuria – protein loss in the urine

  • chronic or frequent urinary tract infections

  • hypertension – that has not responded to anti-hypertensive therapy.

Patients may be referred to renal medicine specialists in Nelson Marlborough by a GP (doctor), or other medical specialist.


Renal medicine services are available at both Nelson and Wairau hospital although dialysis for kidney failure is only available in Nelson.