Pyeloplasty is common surgery in women to relieve urinary blockage in the area known as the uretero-pelvic junction (UPJ), where the pelvis and ureter tube meet. Normally urine forms in the kidney and flows into the area of the pelvis. Basically, pyeloplasty is the surgical reconstruction or revision of the renal pelvis (kidney) to drain and decompress the kidney.

What to Expect

This surgery can be done from a few different angles and takes about two to three hours. In general, the incision will be on your side. Your surgeon will discuss the location of the incision that is the most appropriate for you. While in the hospital, you will have a catheter in the bladder to assure that the bladder and kidney are not stressed. You may experience bladder spasms or intermittent cramping. A medication called Ditropan will provide relief. The catheter will be removed before you go home.

Although there may be a variety of conditions that cause hydronephrosis, UPJ obstruction is one of them as described above. UPJ obstruction is usually congenital but may also be acquired. And many individuals with a UPJ obstruction do not realize they have this condition until later in life, when the poorly flowing urine becomes infected or they begin developing symptoms.

UPJ Symptoms

The following symptoms usually accompany UPJ and might require a pyleoplasty:

  • Back or flank pain
  • Bloody urine (hematuria)
  • Lump in the abdomen (abdominal mass)
  • Kidney infection
  • Poor growth in infants (failure to thrive)
  • Urinary tract infection, usually with fever
  • Vomiting

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it's important that you call your doctor or the professionals at North Kansas City Hospital. Only testing will prove whether you are experiencing UPJ or something different.