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Specialty Areas: Ureter Obstruction

Obstruction of the ureter (a long tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder) may interfere with or block the flow of urine, harming kidney function and causing pain. This tube can be damaged by surgery, or blocked by scar tissue, a blood vessel or, rarely, a tumor. ​​​ 

Ureter Obstruction: Why Choose Johns Hopkins 

  • Johns Hopkins is the torchbearer for urological care, including treatment for ureteral stricture (narrowing of the ureter) or injuries to the ureter. We are at the forefront of compassionate, innovative and evidence-based care.  
  • Our surgeons have expertise in minimally invasive approaches, such as robotic or endoscopic surgery, which can minimize post-surgical complications and reduce recovery time.  
  • We regularly employ indocyanine green (ICG), a fluorescent dye, intraoperatively to ensure good blood flow for these delicate reconstructions. 
  • Brady urologists are on the forefront of urologic research and discovery. Our working group for functional imaging in urinary tract obstruction is focused on improving diagnosis of ureter obstruction. 

Ureter Obstruction Experts 

Our surgeons have extensive experience with complex reconstructive urology and can help decide the best approach for you and your situation.  

What to Expect 

Specialized, diagnostic testing in our clinic will likely be necessary to gather the crucial information to help you and your doctor make the best decision about treatment for ureter obstruction.  

Your doctor may need to perform an antegrade pyelogram, an imaging test that follows contrast dye as it moves from the kidney into the ureter and then to the bladder. Another common imaging test is a nuclear medicine kidney scan, which is performed by a radiologist. Before the radiologist takes a series of images, a tiny amount of radioactive matter is injected into your vein to make it easier for the doctor to see the area of concern. 

Treatment for ureteral blockages depends on the length of the problem area, your underlying health and the health of the affected kidney. 

We offer the newest repair techniques, such as use of buccal mucosa from the mouth to help reconstruct this delicate tube. In some cases, use of intestine or complex reconfiguration of the bladder may be necessary for your repair. Our experts are well-equipped for any eventuality. 

Recovery varies based on the type of procedure, but when minimally invasive surgery is possible, you can usually expect to go home the same day, or spend one night in the hospital. 

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