The ureters are tubes in your body that connect your kidneys to your urinary bladder. These tubes are used for the transportation of the urine that’s produced by your kidneys. There are a variety of conditions that can occur within these tubes, most of which take place in the junction between the kidneys and the ureters. The most common of these conditions is the kidney stone.
No matter which issue you’re currently suffering from, there are several ureteral and uretero-pelvic junction treatments that can be used to treat the affected area.
The main surgical treatments that are used for the conditions that develop in the junction between your ureters and kidney include endoscopic and laparoscopic surgeries, both of which are designed to be minimally-invasive. Because of recent technological advances, these treatments are able to provide you with many more recovery benefits when compared to traditional surgery, the primary of which include lower amounts of trauma done to the body, less pain during and after the surgery, a shorter procedure, and a much quicker recovery process. As such, you’ll be able to go back to work soon and shouldn’t experience many surgical side effects.
A laparoscopy is a type of endoscopy surgery that involves making small incisions within the abdomen. A small laparoscope tool that’s equipped with a tiny video camera and light is then inserted into the incisions to help the surgeon conduct the laparoscopy. A similar tool is used with an endoscopic treatment. Since a video camera and light are equipped on these tubes, the surgeon won’t need to make large incisions.
While open surgeries tend to require incisions of six to 12 inches, these minimally-invasive procedures use anywhere from one to three half-inch incisions. Tubing is then placed through these incisions, after which the surgical instruments are sent through to begin the actual treatment.
An endoscopic surgery is typically used for removing kidney stones. The endoscope can actually be sent through the urethra, which means that incisions don’t need to be made. The stones are then broken up and removed, while the tubing is left inside your body for a couple of weeks to allow the kidney to properly drain. If you’re suffering from a uretero-pelvic junction obstruction, you’ll likely be provided with a laparoscopic treatment when the junction between your ureter and kidney has become blocked. A simple laparoscopic pyeloplasty can remove this blockage and help you avoid kidney damage.
Before the endoscopy or laparoscopy begins, you’ll be provided with a dose of general anesthesia. The amount of time you stay in the hospital depends on the exact procedure that’s used. You can usually go home the same day when receiving a ureteroscopy. However, a laparoscopic pyeloplasty may require you to stay in a hospital for a day or two. During the recovery process, you’ll likely experience pain when you’re urinating for a week or so, which can be managed by standard pain reliever medications.