Emphysematous pyelonephritis most often presents as an acute medical emergency, typically in a septic diabetic patient with acute renal failure. The management of this condition has traditionally been surgical, with nephrectomy. However, some recent reports have described successful medical interventions. We describe a case of acute bilateral emphysematous pyelonephritis in a frail patient not suitable for bilateral nephrectomy and long-term dialysis. This condition was managed medically, not surgically, with intensive antibiotic and circulatory support. The outcome was complete recovery after months of hospital-based treatment. We discuss the management of this rare but important condition in detail.