Ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction

Ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction is a narrowing of the ureter (a tube between the kidney and bladder) at the point where the kidney and the ureter meet. This blocks the flow of urine and causes it to build up. In mild forms, the blockage may resolve over time on its own. In moderate and severe forms, the blockage leads to hydronephrosis. For more information on UPJ obstruction, visit the American Urological Association.

How is it diagnosed?

Most forms of UPJ obstruction can be diagnosed while your child is still in utero. If your child has moderate to severe hydronephrosis, your physician will order tests to determine whether a UPJ obstruction is present.

How is it treated?

Moderate or severe forms of hydronephrosis must be corrected with a surgery called a pyeloplasty. Depending on your child’s specific condition, the Children’s team may be able to be perform the procedure laparoscopically or with the aid of robotics, which can decreased your child’s recovery time and cause less discomfort.

About surgery for UPJ obstruction at Children’s

The pediatric urology surgery team at Children’s provides next-generation care to neonatal infants, newborns, children, and adolescents from throughout the Upper Midwest. The team consistently performs some of the most cutting-edge surgical procedures available, including newborn surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and robotic surgery, when appropriate. Urologic surgery is performed at Children’s – Minneapolis, Children’s – St. Paul and Children’s – Minnetonka.

  • If you are a family member looking for a Children’s specialist in urology surgery, please call the Center for Pediatric Urology at 1-800-992-6983.
  • If you are a health professional looking for a consultation or referral information, please call Children’s Physician Access at 1-866-755-2121 (toll-free).