Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction
One of the most common conditions affecting the kidneys is urinary obstruction. Obstruction can occur anywhere in the urinary tract and when it occurs, medical attention is required. A urinary obstruction can create serious side effects like infections and kidney stones. If left untreated, blockages can cause chronic pain and may damage the kidney over time.
The condition known as blockage of the ureter (tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder) is found in adults, but more commonly in children. The most common cause of obstruction in the urinary tract in children is a congenital obstruction. This occurs at the point where the ureter joins the renal pelvis (called the ureteropelvic junction or UPJ). This is the area at the center of the kidney where urine collects and is funneled into the ureter. This type of obstruction occurs in roughly one in 1,500 children.These obstructions develop prenatally as the kidney is forming. Today, most cases are diagnosed on prenatal ultrasound screening.
In UPJ obstruction, the kidney produces urine at a rate that exceeds the amount of urine able to drain out of the renal pelvis into the ureter. This causes an accumulation of urine in the kidney. The accumulation, also called hydronephrosis is visible on ultrasound and often allows the doctor to predict the presence of UPJ obstruction before the baby is born.
Although less common in adults, UPJ obstruction can occur as a result of kidney stones, previous surgery or disorders that cause inflammation of the upper urinary tract.
If you require surgery for a urinary obstruction, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive approach – da Vinci Surgery. da Vinci Surgery uses state-of-the-art technology to help your doctor perform this delicate operation. It offers several potential benefits over traditional open and laparoscopic surgery, including:
- Shorter operation
- Less blood loss & transfusions
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stay
da Vinci Surgery incorporates the best techniques of open and laparoscopic surgery and applies them to a robotic-assisted, minimally invasive approach for treatment of non-cancerous kidney disorders like ureteral blockage.
For additional information on minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System visit www.davincisurgery.com/urology