What Can Be Expected after Surgery?

Patients usually recover quickly. After surgery the ureter may be swollen for a while. Some have pain for a few days after surgery. Kidney drainage can also remain poor, but often gets better as the area heals. The doctor uses ultrasound a few weeks after surgery to check for hydronephrosis (swollen kidney).

Sometimes a drainage tube is left in place to help drain the kidney while it heals. The appearance of the kidney will improve with time, though it will not look normal.

If the other kidney is normal, children can participate in sports or other activities when the blocked kidney responds well to treatment. Once the UPJ obstruction is fixed, it almost never comes back.

Note that patients who have had UPJ obrstruction may have a slightly greater risk of future kidney stones or infection. This is because the kidneys may still contain some pooled urine, even though overall drainage is improved. Sometimes a child who had some obstruction as an infant, which improved naturally, will later have signs of obstruction that call for surgery.