The renal pelvis helps you go with the flow

Your kidneys filter your blood and produce urine. In order to get urine from your kidneys through your ureters (the tubes that connect your kidneys and bladder) and into your bladder, it has to pass through an area called the renal pelvis.

The renal pelvis looks and acts like a funnel. Broader at one end and narrower at the other, it helps control the flow of urine from your kidney into the very narrow ureter. Sometimes, the renal pelvis gets blocked. This can slow or stop the flow of urine and cause symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Reduced kidney function

Different objects can block the renal pelvis. Blockages are often genetic, but scar tissue or a tumor can also block it. A blocked renal pelvis is called ureteropelvic junction obstruction or UPJ obstruction.

Robotic surgery can keep things moving smoothly

If you have ureteropelvic junction obstruction, you may need a procedure called pyeloplasty. This helps remove the blockage and reconstruct the renal pelvis so that it can once again smoothly funnel urine to the ureters.

With new advancements in surgical technology, you can have a laparoscopic/robotic pyeloplasty. This means that your surgery will be done with a few small incisions rather than one large one. Your surgeon will insert a tiny camera into one of your incisions through the abdomen. Using the view from the camera and a special control panel, your surgeon will direct several robotic arms with delicate surgical tool attachments and guide them through your surgery.

These robotic arms are able to make very controlled and precise movements, which helps reduce complications during surgery. With such an exact procedure, you’re also likely to have an easier recovery after surgery.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.