Ureteropelvic Junction (UPJ) Obstruction

This minimally invasive procedure uses robotic technology to remove a blockage at ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) - where the kidney meets the ureter. In a healthy urinary tract, urine drains from the kidney into the ureter, which in turn carries the urine down to the bladder.

For various reasons, the UPJ can narrow or become blocked, causing urine to back up into the kidneys. Sometimes the blockage is present at birth and worsens over time or the blockage can be caused by kidney stones or scarring. Patients usually have pain in the flank area and blood in the urine. If the blockage is not removed, it can result in diminished kidney function or loss of a kidney.

The urologist inserts robotic instruments through tiny incisions in the abdomen and dissects the affected kidney to remove the obstruction. Then, the urinary tract is repaired from damage that may have been caused by urine build up and pressure, and is opened to prevent future obstruction. If needed, the urologists can remove any remaining stones and place a stent to help with healing. This stent if removed a few weeks later during a follow-up office visit.

Since our urologists are specially trained in robotics, patients recover quickly and have few complications. The procedure, which does not require large incisions, leaves minimal scarring, usually confined to natural creases in the skin. Two of the incisions are completely hidden since one is in the patient’s belly button and one is below the underwear line.

Usually, the hospital stay is either one or two days, followed by a two-week recovery. Additionally, patients have less pain and risk of infection since the incisions are so tiny.

Learn What to Expect from Robotic Pyeloplasty