Causes of Kidney Disorders

Urinary Obstruction

The most common cause of urinary obstruction in adults is kidney stones, although an injury or other conditions could cause the obstruction.

In newborns and children, the most common cause of urinary obstruction is a congenital blockage that occurs as the fetus is developing. The obstruction occurs at the point where the ureter joins the renal pelvis - the ureteropelvic junction (UPJ). This is the area at the center of the kidney where urine collects and is funneled into the ureter (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).

During fetal development, a baby's kidneys first appear as buds inside the pelvis, near the bladder. As the kidneys develop, they climb gradually toward their normal position near the rib cage in the back. Sometimes, one of the kidneys fails to make the climb. It may stop after making part of the climb or remain in the pelvis. A child rarely has two ectopic kidneys.

Although much less common in adults, UPJ obstruction may be caused by kidney stones, previous surgery(ies) or disorders that cause inflammation of the upper urinary tract.

In UPJ obstruction, the kidney produces urine at a rate that exceeds the amount of urine able to drain out of the renal pelvis into the ureter. This causes accumulation of urine within the kidney. This accumulation is also called hydronephrosis and is easy to see on an ultrasound. This allows the physician to predict the presence of UPJ obstruction before the baby is born. Although much less common in adults, UPJ obstruction may be caused by kidney stones, previous surgery(ies) or disorders that cause inflammation of the upper urinary tract.

All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to

©2013 Intuitive Surgical. All rights reserved. Intuitive, Intuitive Surgical, da Vinci, da Vinci S, da Vinci Si, Single-Site, TilePro, FireFly, Skills Simulator, EndoWrist and EndoWrist One are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical. All other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Content provided by Intuitive Surgical.

PN 1002328 Rev A 04/2013

Practis, Inc. Powered by Encounter CSS ™ | Terms of Use