Open Ureteral Reimplantation
(Open Ureteroneocystostomy with Reimplantation)
Ureteral reimplantation is surgery to reposition a ureter. The ureter is a tube between the kidney and the bladder. It allows urine to pass down to the bladder.
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Reasons for Procedure
Some ureters are not positioned correctly in the bladder. This can make it difficult for urine to flow into the bladder. Ureteral reimplantation may be done to reposition ureters that:
- Are causing urine to flow back into the ureters and kidneys— vesicoureteral reflux
- Were damaged due to trauma or surgery
Problems from the test are rare. However, all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Excess bleeding
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia, including lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and wheezing
- Soreness in throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bladder spasms
- Difficulty urinating
- Failure of the operation to correct the problem
- Excess scarring or narrowing in the ureter that can lead to kidney problems
Talk to the doctor about these risks before the procedure.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- The doctor may take images of urinary tract.
- Blood and urine tests may be done. These test will show how well the kidneys are working.
Talk to the doctor about any medications you are taking:
- Do not take any new medications, herbs, or supplements without talking to the doctor.
- You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
- The night before surgery, you should eat a light meal. You should not eat or drink anything after midnight unless told otherwise by the doctor.
General anesthesia may be used. It will be given through an IV. You will be asleep through the procedure.
A spinal block may be used. This is an anesthesia injected into the spine. It will block pain below your waist.
Description of the Procedure
An incision will be made in the abdomen. A series of incisions and stitches will be used to realign the ureter. The method chosen will be based on your specific condition. The incision in the abdomen will be closed with dissolvable stitches. A bandage will be placed over the incision.
A tube will be placed into the bladder. This will allow urine to drain while your bladder heals.
Immediately After Procedure
After the operation, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation.
How Long Will It Take?
2 to 3 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. There may be some pain as you recover. You may also have some cramping in your bladder. The doctor will give you medication to help manage any discomfort.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 2 to 4 days. You may need to stay longer if there are any complications.
At the Hospital
- You will receive fluids and medications through an IV.
- Urine will drain through the tube and into a bag. The urine may have blood in it for the first few days.
- After surgery, images will be taken to make sure the ureter is in the correct place.
Certain physical activities will be limited in the first few weeks such as heavy lifting or sexual activity.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
- Difficulty urinating
- Excess bleeding
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Pus or bad smelling fluids draining from the incision site
- Redness or swelling at the incision site
- Urine that smells bad
- Pain that cannot be controlled with the medications you were given
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Ureteral reimplant. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota website. Available at: https://www.childrensmn.org/references/pfs/surg/ureteral-reimplant.pdf. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Ureteral reimplant surgery FAQ. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website. Available at: https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/ureteral_reimplant_surgery/index.html. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Ureteral reimplantation surgery. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh website. Available at: http://www.chp.edu/our-services/urology/patient-procedures/ureteral-reimplantation. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Vesicoureteral reflux. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116455/Vesicoureteral-reflux. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Vesicoureteral reflux. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/vesicoureteralreflux. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 1/29/2021