The Jackson Clinic Homepage
The Jackson Clinic

Renal Pelvis and Ureteral Conditions

Home » Specialties » Urology » Renal Pelvis and Ureteral Conditions

Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction

Ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO) is a congenital (born with it) or acquired condition where there is a narrowing or kink in the connection point between the drainage system of the kidney and the drainage tube of the kidney (ureter).

Symptoms & Diagnosis

UPJO may cause pain on the side of the affected kidney, urine infections, or kidney stones and can result in kidney damage. The classic symptom is pain that occurs after drinking a large amount of fluid.

Imaging tests such and ultrasound or CT scan are usually required to diagnose the condition along with special nuclear medicine drainage studies.


Patients who are candidates may undergo pyeloplasty, an elective surgery to reshape the drainage funnel. Jackson Clinic urologists are trained to perform minimally invasive pyeloplasty surgery using the DaVinci Robot to aid in faster recovery and less blood loss.

Renal Pelvis or Ureteral Cancer

There are rare cancers which arise from the lining of the kidney (renal pelvis) or the drainage tube of the kidney (ureter), typically urothelial carcinoma. They may sometimes cause blockage of the kidney.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Urothelial carcinoma are most commonly found in patients with blood in the urine or during evaluation for bladder cancer. Initial evaluation usually involves a procedure to biopsy the tumor to determine the diagnosis.


Depending on the biopsy diagnosis, surgery is the standard treatment usually recommended and possibly chemotherapy. Surgery may involve removal of the entire kidney and ureter (nephroureterectomy) or, for persons not fit for surgery, a laser procedure may be performed.