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Definition

Pyeloplasty fixes the kidney at the ureteropelvic junction. This is where the kidney connects to a tube called the ureter. This tube carries urine to the bladder.

Kidney and Ureter
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Reasons for Procedure

Pyeloplasty is done if urine is blocked from moving through this part of the kidney. Blockage makes the kidney swell.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review possible problems such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Hernia
  • Tissue damage
  • Organ damage
  • Urine leakage
  • Ureter gets blocked

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to lower your risk of problems from:

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Imaging tests

You may need to:

  • Use a prep to clean your bowels.
  • Limit yourself to clear liquids the night before.
  • Not eat or drink at all the morning of your procedure.

Talk to the doctor about the medicines you take. You may need to stop certain medicines up to 1 week in advance.

Anesthesia

General anesthesia will block pain and keep you asleep.

Description of Procedure

A catheter in the bladder will drain urine.

There are 2 types of surgery:

  • Open—An incision will be made in the side. The damaged part of the kidney will be fixed. Any blocked areas will be removed. The healthy sections of the ureter will be reattached. Stitches will close the incisions.
  • Laparoscopic surgery —A few keyhole incisions are made. Special tools will be passed through tubes that are inserted into the incisions. The repair steps are the same as the open surgery.

You may have a stent placed. The stent keeps the ureter open. This is so urine can pass through. When the area is healed, the stent is taken out.

How Long Will It Take?

About 2-3 hours

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Medicines will ease pain after the procedure.

Average Hospital Stay

The usual hospital stay is 2-3 days. You may need to stay longer if there are problems. The stay may be shorter if you had a laparoscopic surgery.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

Pain while passing urine is normal. You may also feel an urgent need to pass urine. These problems will go away as the area heals.

During your stay, the healthcare staff will take steps to lower your chances of infection such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your incisions covered

There are also steps you can take to lower your chance of infection such as:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare staff to do the same
  • Reminding your healthcare staff to wear gloves or masks
  • Not letting others to touch your incision

At Home

You may have a catheter for up to a week after you go home.

To help you get healthier faster:

  • Take care of the catheter as advised.
  • Follow wound care orders to avoid infection.

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if any of these occur:

  • Fever or chills
  • Redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, or pus draining from the incision
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
  • Problems passing urine such as:
    • Pain
    • Burning
    • Urgency
    • Frequency
    • Bleeding

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

RESOURCES:

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
https://familydoctor.org

Urology Care Foundation
http://www.urologyhealth.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
https://www.kidney.ca

REFERENCES:

Pyeloplasty. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/16545-pyeloplasty. Updated August 21, 2017. Accessed June 14, 2018.

Pyeloplasty FAQ. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital website. Available at: https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/pyeloplasty/index.html. Accessed June 14, 2018.

McAleer IM, Kaplan GW. Renal function before and after pyeloplasty: does it improve? J Urol. 1999;162(3 Pt 2):1041-1044.

6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905141/Treatment-for-tobacco-use: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 6/14/2018