Pelviureteric Junction (PUJ) Obstruction Treatment
Pelviureteric junction obstruction, aka PUJ obstruction is a birth defect where the fetus develops a blockage in their kidney. The blockage or narrowing is usually near the ureters through which the urine passes from the kidney. As a result, the passage of urine slows down or stops resulting in urine buildup in the kidney that can lead to deterioration of kidney functions eventually.
PUJ obstruction occurs in only 1 out of every 1500 babies. But it requires immediate medical intervention to ensure good excretory health of the child.
What Causes PUJ Obstruction?
PUJ obstruction is a congenital condition – it occurs during the developmental phase inside the womb. More often than not, it occurs in a single member of the family without any history of the same in any of the family members.
Sometimes, the problem surfaces only during the later years. And this can occur due to the following:
- Tangled or misplaced blood vessels
- Inflammation of the urinary tract
- Kidney stones
- History of prior surgery
- Development of scar tissue in the area
How Can You Tell If Your Child Has PUJ Obstruction?
In most cases PUJ obstruction is diagnosed at birth. In case the symptoms are not clear at birth or they start showing later in life, they can surface as follows:
- Constant or repeating abdominal pain or back pain
- Blood in urine
- Lump in abdomen
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney stones
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your child, seek medical attention immediately.
How Is PUJ Obstruction Treated?
Dr. Mallikarjun Reddy, a Robotic, Paediatric & Reconstructive Urologist, finds ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, and blood tests the best way to assess the extent of the construction and the resulting infection. Sometimes, PUJ onstructions improve on their own; in those cases, the key is to monitor the function of the excretory system closely so that medical intervention can be done if the situation worsens.
If the doctor decides that surgery is the best course of action, depending on the nature and location of obstruction and the underlying cause (if any), a surgical plan will be devised. A laparoscopic pyeloplasty usually offers the best course of treatment. It is minimally invasive and incurs minimal blood loss. The recovery process is also much less painful and much quicker.
The surgical wound heals in seven to ten days while the internal functions revive their full potency. The organs may take a bit longer to start functioning normally. So, they are supported by medicines and sometimes a tube is attached through which the child can pass urine temporarily. Maintaining proper hygiene in the incision site is crucial for healthy recovery. Make sure that you take the child for all the appointments and follow the prescription religiously. This surgery has a 97% success rate.
Life After PUJ Obstruction Treatment
A child can live a normal life after they heal completely from the surgery. However, a history of PUJ obstruction increases the risk of developing kidney stones in the future. It is advised to keep a close eye on your kidney’s health. Get annual checkups done to ensure that your kidneys are in good health. Adopting a kidney-friendly diet and lifestyle can go a long way!