Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction (UPJ)

Ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ) is a blockage in the natural flow of urine from the kidney pelvis to the ureter. Ureteropelvic junction obstructions can present as early as the newborn period as hydronephrosis seen on routine ultrasound done during pregnancy. Others can present later in childhood or adulthood with symptoms such as pain, bleeding, and/or urinary tract infections (UTI). Some UPJ obstructions do not cause any problems or symptoms.

Some tests that may be performed during the evaluation of a Ureteropelvic junction obstruction include a renal ultrasound, CT scan, and/or renal scan. A renal scan looks at both the function of the affected kidney as well as how well it drains.

Ureteropelvic junction obstructions are usually repaired if they cause recurrent symptoms such as pain/infection or if there is a decrease in function of the affected kidney. This surgery, known as a pyeloplasty, involves removing the scar tissue causing the blockage and repairing the ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Often, this is done with minimally invasive techniques including laparoscopic repair and robotic assisted repair.

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