Robotic Pyeloplasty treating Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction (UPJ)

What is robotic pyeloplasty?

Robotic pyeloplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed to treat a ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ). Ureteropelvic junction obstruction is a condition that occurs when there is a blockage in the area connecting the kidney and ureter, preventing urine from exiting the kidney. The condition can cause pain and discomfort, as well as blood in the urine. If left untreated, UPJ can lead to the deterioration of proper kidney function. Blockages may be caused by a number of factors, including kidney stones or a build-up of scar tissue.

How does it work?

During the procedure, your surgeon will make use of a robotic surgical system designed to complete the surgery with an extremely high level of precision. Your surgeon will make tiny incisions in the abdomen, through which small robotic instruments are placed. The surgical instruments are used to carefully dissect the kidney and the obstruction in the connection between the kidney and ureter is removed. Once the obstruction has been removed, any damage to the ureter and kidney is repaired. In some cases, a special device may be used to remove kidney stones. When the procedure is complete, a stent is placed to help aid the healing process, which will be removed after around four weeks.

What are the benefits?

Because robotic pyeloplasty is a non-invasive surgery (key hole surgery), patients experience very little scarring and generally have a much quicker recovery time. There is also generally less pain, a greatly reduced risk of infection. Traditional open surgery is performed via a 30cm flank/abdominal incision with a significant cosmetic scar and high risk of hernia. Robotic or laparoscopic pyeloplasty is the gold standard treatment for PUJ obstruction of the kidney.

Robotic pyeloplasty is also more precise than other surgical techniques. The surgical instruments that are used during the procedure have a greater range of motion than the human hand, and the high definition camera allows your surgeon to see the inside of the body in enhanced detail.


1What are the symptoms of ureteropelvic junction obstruction?
If you have a blockage in your kidney or ureters, you may experience:
  • Back or upper abdominal pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
2What causes blockages in the kidneys?
Often ureteropelvic junction obstruction is a birth defect, but in adults the condition can be caused by:
  • Kidney stones
  • Scarring from previous surgery
  • Swelling in the urinary tract
3Will recovery be painful?
Robotic-assisted surgery is less invasive and, therefore, less painful during the recovery period. You will be given pain medication to manage discomfort.