How is UPJ obstruction treated?

UPJ obstruction can be treated with surgery. If the condition is severe, this may need to be done early in life. Mostly, surgery can wait until later in life. Surgery is not required for all cases. After a successful surgery, the urine will flow normally.

For children, open surgery is often done. For adults, less invasive surgery may be done. The procedure is known as pyeloplasty. The process takes a few hours.

During pyeloplasty, a 2-3 inch cut is made just below the ribs. The obstructed segment of ureter is removed. The normal caliber ureter is then reattached to the renal pelvis.

A stent (a tiny wire-meshed tube) is placed to drain urine from the kidney. After the surgery heals, the stent will be removed.

The more common approach currently in adults is robotic-assisted or laparoscopic pyeloplasty. The same type of repair is done, however, through multiple small (8 - 10mm) incisions. A ureteral stent is then placed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/21/2017.


  • Kausik, Sankar, & Segura, Joseph W... (2003). Surgical management of ureteropelvic junction obstruction in adults. International braz j urol, 29(1), 3-10. Accessed 8/29/2017.

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