UPJ Obstruction

The UPJ is the ureteropelvic junction. It’s where the drainage systems of the kidneys meet each ureter. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine to the bladder.

UPJ obstruction is a non-cancerous kidney condition. It is caused by a blockage, which can be due to a number of causes. It is diagnosed in patients of all ages, and treatment is usually surgical. Patients with UPJ obstruction sometimes have stones that also require surgical treatment


Common symptoms of UPJ may include:

  • Flank & abdominal pain, particularly after drinking fluids
  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting



  • Open pyeloplasty. A procedure to reconnect the healthy part of the kidney to the healthy part of the ureter. Usually requires one flank incision.
  • Endopyelotomy. A less-invasive procedure that relieves the obstruction. Usually involves no incisions, and the use of a uretroscope — a medical device consisting of a camera on a flexible tube. Small surgical instruments, including a special laser, are inserted through the ureterscope.
  • da Vinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty. A minimally-invasive procedure that uses a computer, enhanced 3D imaging and robotics — and tiny incisions. The surgeon’s hand movements are micro-scaled into precise movements by the robot at the operating site. Combines the effectiveness of the open pyeloplasty with the minimally-invasive benefits of a laparoscopic surgery.

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South County Urological
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St. Louis, MO 63128