Pyeloplasty is the surgical reconstruction of the renal pelvis (a part of the kidney) to drain and decompress the kidney.

In nearly all cases, the goal of the surgery is to relieve a pelvic ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction.


Pyeloplasty is a way to perform reconstructive surgery of a narrowing or scarring where the ureter (the tube that drains urine from the kidney to the bladder) attaches to the kidney through a minimally invasive procedure.

This operation is used to correct a blockage or narrowing of the ureter where it leaves the kidney. This abnormality is called a pelvic ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction which results in poor and sluggish drainage of urine from the kidney. PUJ obstructions can potentially cause abdominal and flank pain, kidney stones, infection, high blood pressure and deterioration of kidney function.

About surgery

Although this procedure has proven to be very safe, as in any surgical procedure there are risks and potential complications. The safety and complication rates are similar when compared to the open surgery. Potential risks include:

  • Bleeding: Blood loss during this procedure is typically minor (less than 100 cc) and a blood transfusion is rarely required. If you are still interested in autologous blood transfusion (donating your own blood) prior to your surgery, you must make your surgeon aware. When the packet of information is mailed or given to you regarding your surgery, you will receive an authorization form for you to take to the Red Cross in your area.
  • Infection: All patients are treated with broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics prior to starting the surgery to decrease the chance of infection from occurring after surgery. If you develop any signs or symptoms of infection after the surgery (fever, drainage from your incision, urinary frequency, discomfort, pain or anything that you may be concerned about) please contact us at once.
  • Hernia: Hernias at incision sites rarely occur since all keyhole incisions are closed carefully at the completion of your surgery.
  • Tissue / organ injury: Although uncommon, possible injury to surrounding tissue and organs including bowel, vascular structures, spleen, liver, pancreas and gallbladder could require further surgery. Injury could occur to nerves or muscles related to positioning.
  • Conversion to open surgery: this surgical procedure may require conversion to the standard open operation if extreme difficulty is encountered during the laparoscopic procedure. This could result in a larger standard open incision and possibly a longer recuperation period.
  • Failure to correct PUJ obstruction: Roughly 3% of patients undergoing this operation will have persistent blockage due to recurrent scarring. If this occurs additional surgery may be necessary.

What happens after pyeloplasty surgery?

  • Patients will stay in the hospital for a day or two after surgery. Recovery is usually quick.
  • The ureter may be swollen. The patient may have some pain for a few days after surgery.
  • Kidney drainage may be poor at first. This often gets better over time as the area heals.
  • A few weeks after surgery, the stent is removed, and the doctor may use an ultrasound to check for swollen kidneys.
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