Treatment for Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction

Newborns with UPJ obstruction and hydronephrosis are placed on antibiotics to prevent infection and are monitored with renal ultrasound every 3 to 6 months. If UPJ obstruction causes a significant reduction in renal function, a surgical procedure called pyeloplasty is performed to remove the obstruction, improve urine flow, and reduce the risk for kidney damage.

Pyeloplasty involves removing the blockage and reattaching the ureter to the renal pelvis. A temporary device that holds the ureter open (stent) may be inserted to drain the kidney.

Complications include the following:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
  • Narrowing of the ureter (stricture)
  • Recurrent UPJ obstruction
  • Urine leakage into surrounding tissue
  • UTI (e.g., cystitis)

Patients require follow-up care for several years following pyeloplasty. Tests to evaluate kidney function are performed regularly (6 months to 1 year).

UPJ Obstruction Prognosis

The success rate for patients who undergo pyeloplasty is higher than 95 percent.

UPJ Obstruction Prevention

Ureteropelvic junction obstruction cannot be prevented.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015