The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, the two tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder — the ureters — and the bladder itself.
Ureteral obstruction occurs when a ureter becomes blocked. The blockage may be a condition present since birth or may be due to scarring from kidney stones or prior surgeries. Less frequently, scarring may be from cancer.
possibly due to a disease like kidney stones or cancer, possibly due to scarring from prior surgeries or possibly due to some condition from birth.
When a ureter is blocked, urine doesn't drain properly from the kidney to the bladder and may even backflow into a kidney, causing infection or long-term damage.
Surgery to address a blocked ureter can restore normal function in the urinary system. Today these procedures are often done with minimally invasive techniques that use a tiny camera and tiny instruments inserted through small incisions in the belly.
These procedures include:
In either surgery, the surgeon may also place a stent — a small rigid tube — to help hold the ureter open — that is then removed in a later procedure when the ureter has healed.