What is pyeloplasty? Why is the procedure performed?
Pyeloplasty is a surgery that helps in the removal of blockages in the ureter where it connects to the renal pelvis. The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder. The kidneys purify blood to form urine which passes through the ureters into the bladder and is excreted from the body through the urethra. Sometimes, a ureter may be blocked obstructing the flow of urine into the bladder. The block may be present at birth or may appear later in life due to a blood vessel blocking the ureter or from an area of scar tissue. If left untreated it can cause damage to the kidneys.
How is pyeloplasty performed?
Pyeloplasty is performed under general anesthesia. This procedure is usually performed through keyhole surgery. Three small incisions are made over the abdomen to allow the insertion of a camera and instruments. Your doctor locates the blockage in the ureter, removes the affected area and re-joins the ends of the ureter with sutures. A stent is inserted so that the ureter remains open and stable during the healing process, and is removed later.
What does your post-operative care include?
You will be able to eat or drink soon after the surgery; however, you will be asked to stay in the hospital for about 2 days following the surgery for monitoring. The stent is usually removed after 4-6 weeks once the anastomosis has fully healed.
What are the potential risks and complications associated with pyeloplasty?
Like most surgical procedures pyeloplasty may also have certain risks such as bleeding and infection at the site of the surgery, pain, injury to nearby organs and failure of the surgery due to recurrent scarring.