Ureteral Obstruction


Ureteral obstructions are blockages in your urinary tract, which includes your kidneys, bladder, the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder (ureters), and the tube that connects your bladder to the outside of your body (urethra). Blockages can develop for many reasons, including gastrointestinal problems. 

Ureteral obstructions are more common in men, especially as they get older and their prostate gland enlarges.

Obstructions can be cured with surgery, but they need to be treated promptly. If they’re not, they can lead to severe illness, kidney damage and life-threatening infections.


Symptoms of a ureteral obstruction include:

  • Abdominal pain on one or both sides (called flank pain)
  • Blood in your urine (called hematuria)
  • Fever
  • Leg swelling
  • Reduced urine output (called oliguria)

Services & Treatment

If you have any of these symptoms, see your Aurora urologist right away. You’ll talk about your symptoms and have a physical exam. Your doctor may also order additional tests. 

After you’ve been diagnosed, your doctor will work with you on a treatment tailored to your needs. Your treatment will likely involve surgery to remove blockages and repair any damage to your ureters and kidneys. 

Before your surgery, you may need temporary treatment to help your body get rid of urine. This could include:

  • A catheter: Your doctor inserts a tube through your urethra into your bladder to drain urine.
  • A ureteral stent: Your doctor inserts a tube into one or both of your ureters to help keep them open.
  • Percutaneous nephrostomy: Your doctor inserts a tube through your back into your kidneys to drain them.

Your surgery may be traditional or laparoscopic. Laparoscopies are minimally invasive surgeries that decrease pain, bleeding, complications and recovery time. 

Aurora specializes in:

  • Laparoscopic pyeloplasty: Your surgeon makes small incisions in your abdomen and uses precise instruments, including a tiny camera called an endoscope, to remove obstructions from your urinary tract.
  • Robotic pyeloplasty: This is similar to a laparoscopic pyeloplasty, but your surgeon uses robotic instruments in the procedure.

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