What is a robotic pyeloplasty?

A robotic pyeloplasty is minimally-invasive procedure that removes a blockage in the ureteropelvic junction (UPJ). The ureteropelvic junction connects the kidneys and the ureter (the duct by which urine passes to the bladder). In a healthy urinary tract, urine drains from the kidney to the ureter, which then carries the urine down to the bladder. When the UPJ becomes blocked or narrows, urine will back up into the kidneys.

What causes ureteropelvic junction blockages?

For some people, UPJ blockages are present at birth and become progressively worse over time. For others, blockages may be caused by scar tissue or kidney stones.

The symptoms of these blockages can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the sides (flanks)

If left untreated, this condition can eventually lead to the deterioration of kidney function and even the loss of a kidney.

How is robotic pyeloplasty performed?

During the procedure, one of the surgeons at South Bay Urology will place surgical instruments inside the body through several small incisions. Instead of making one large incision, we have the technology and expertise to make the surgery as minimally-invasive as possible. Often these incisions can be hidden in natural creases of the skin (e.g. the belly button or pubic region), so that you won’t be stuck with unsightly surgical scars. We will then dissect the affected UPJ and surgically remove the obstruction. We will also surgically reconstruct the UPJ so urine can flow freely through it, which will unobstruct and protect kidney function. This will also prevent any obstructions from reoccurring in the future. Finally, a temporary ureteral stent (a tiny tube) is placed in the ureter to help with the healing process.

What are the benefits of a robotic procedure?

The da Vinci surgical system allows us to perform a laparoscopic pyeloplasty that features:

  • No scarring, as only four small incisions (¼ to ½ inch) are made instead of one large one
  • A shorter recovery time and hospital stay compared to open surgery (you can return to your normal routine 2 weeks after surgery, as opposed to 6-8 weeks)
  • More precision and safety than alternative surgical methods – with less blood loss, less risk of infection, less post-op pain, decreased complications and improved outcomes

Schedule an appointment in Southern California

South Bay Urology, located in Torrance, is Southern California’s go-to practice for urologic surgery. We have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose your condition and provide the proper treatment. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can request one online or call us at (310) 542-0199.


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(310) 542-0199