by Diana Kohnle
Pyeloplasty is a surgery to repair the kidney. Specifically, it repairs a part of the kidney called the ureteropelvic junction, which is where the renal pelvis meets the ureter. The renal pelvis is a funnel-like structure. It connects the kidney to a tube called the ureter. This tube carries urine to the bladder.
Reasons for Procedure TOP
Pyeloplasty is done if a blockage is found at the the junction of the renal pelvis and ureter. This blockage prevents the urine from passing and makes the kidney swell.
Possible Complications TOP
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
A physical exam will be done before surgery. The doctor may also require blood and urine tests.
The bowels may also need to be cleaned. Your diet may be limited to clear liquids the night before. Do not eat or drink on the morning of the surgery.
Talk to the doctor about medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
General anesthesia will be given. You will be asleep.
Description of Procedure TOP
Pyeloplasty may be done using open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. A catheter will be placed to allow urine to drain.
During open surgery, an incision will be made in your side. The renal pelvis will be reconstructed. The blocked section will also be removed. The remaining healthy sections of ureter will be re-attached. The incision in the skin will then be closed with stitches.
Laparoscopic surgery only requires a few small incisions. Special tools will be passed through these incisions to complete the surgery. The repair steps are the same as the open procedure.
In some surgeries, a temporary tube called a stent may be placed in the ureter. This will allow urine to pass while the area heals.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
About 2-3 hours
How Much Will It Hurt? TOP
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Average Hospital Stay TOP
The usual hospital stay is 2-3 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise. The stay may be shorter if you had a laparoscopic surgery.
Post-procedure Care TOP
At the Hospital
You will receive medication to ease discomfort. You may have some discomfort the first few times you urinate after surgery. It is also common to feel a frequent need to urinate. It will pass.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
If you are sent home with a drain or catheter, it may be removed one week after surgery.
To help with your recovery:
Call Your Doctor TOP
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Pyeloplasty. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at:
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Accessed June 1, 2016.
Pyeloplasty FAQ. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital website. Available at: https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/pyeloplasty/index.html. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Inagaki T, Rha KH, et al. Laparoscopic pyeloplasty: current status. BJU Int. 2005;95(Suppl 2):102-105.
McAleer IM, Kaplan GW. Renal function before and after pyeloplasty: does it improve? J Urol. 1999;162(3 Pt 2):1041-1044.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Available at:
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Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 5/13/2014