A ureteral obstruction is an uncommon condition that is characterized by a full or partial blockage in one or both ureters that extend from the kidneys to the bladder. It prevents the proper elimination of body waste, and it can be a life-threatening condition that strikes people of every age.
It may be caused by congenital abnormalities, nervous system disorders, blood clots, prior surgeries, kidney stones, bladder stones, injuries, tumors, polyps, prostate enlargement, rectal impaction, pregnancy and certain types of cancer.
The symptoms of a ureteral obstruction depend on the cause and whether it is a full or partial blockage.
There are various causes for diverse types of ureteral obstruction. Some of these causes are present at birth and can be treated right away.
Other potential causes of ureteral obstruction are severe constipation, ureter wall swelling, tumors (cancerous and noncancerous), ureteral stones, or tissue growth internally. Tuberculosis and schistosomiasis can cause the ureter wall to swell.
After blood tests, imaging, and/or endoscopy confirms diagnosis, treatment will depend on the ureteral obstruction cause.
If a ureteral obstruction is not treated it can result in kidney and ureter damage, kidney failure, sepsis and death. Seek immediate medical care when signs of kidney infection or failure are present.
To prevent ureteral obstruction, regular checkups should take place with your physician and it is important to let them know if symptoms or signs alarm you.
Ensure medical attention is sought immediately if experience any of the following symptoms.
Tests that can be used as a safeguard to prevent onset of ureteral obstruction are ultrasounds, voiding cystourethrograms, blood and urine tests, renal nuclear scan, cystoscopy, CT scan, or MRI tests. It is important to stay in communication with your doctor if any signs or symptoms persist.