Kidney blockage is a condition in which, due to a narrowing or an obstacle in the urinary tracts, urine cannot flow normally though the urinary tract.

Surgical techniques

There are several surgical possibilities with which a kidney blockage can be resolved. There will always be an attempt to use the least invasive technique possible, and the most appropriate one for each case.

  • Endoscopy: An instrument equipped with a camera, light and the necessary cutting, suction tools, etc. is inserted through the urethra to unblock the tract and to place a stent, for example.
  • Laparoscopy: The procedure is similar to that of endoscopy, but the approach is done via an incision in the appropriate area of the body through which the laparoscope is inserted. On certain occasions, this operation can be robot-assisted.
  • Open surgery: Used to correct congenital malformations, for example, and on other occasions in which laparoscopic or endoscopic surgery are not possible.


The blockage can happen in any of the organs or ducts that go from the kidney to the urethra, and it can be of congenital or acquired origin.

The problem can be within the urinary tracts, but it can also be caused by the crushing of the urinary tracts by another organ.

The most common causes are:

  • Congenital malformations: If a narrowing is detected in the tracts, they can be the object of a prenatal surgery.
  • Kidney stones
  • Stones in the gallbladder
  • Narrowing due to scar tissue in the urethra
  • Blood clots in the ureters or kidneys
  • Colon, cervical, uterine cancers, etc.: Tumours distort, obstruct or crush the ducts, depending on the case.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia: The most common extrinsic cause. The prostate is enlarged crushing the urethra, blocking the flow of urine.


When the urine is not expelled, there is a reflux towards the kidney, which is known as hydronephrosis. This causes the kidney or kidneys to swell since the condition can affect one or both organs.

The retention of urine will be accompanied by an intense pain between the upper part of the abdomen and the back, in the side of the affected kidney. Haematuria is also frequently produced (blood in the urine).



Como las causas pueden ser muy diversas, lo tratamientos para atajarlas también son muy diversos

  • Drains.- The first measure when a blockage of urine occurs will be to free the flow of urine immediately, for which different methods can be applied:
  • Catheters: This consists of introducing a tube through the urethra to the bladder, into which the bladder will empty. This is a common measure that should not be extended over a long period of time since it can be a route for infections.
  • Ureteric Stent: Just as is done with the coronary tracts to enlarge them or free a blockage, a stent (hollow tube) can be placed into the urethra to free the blockage.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: The drain is made through the back, and a tube is inserted up to the kidney.
  • Urology