Ureteral Stricture

Urologists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) specialize in problems of the genitourinary tract, including ureteral strictures. A ureteral stricture is a narrowing of the ureter that causes an obstruction in the flow of urine. Our urologic surgeons treat ureteral strictures with innovative treatments including minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Ureteral Stricture Topics

Causes of Ureteral Stricture
  • Previous treatment for urologic conditions
  • Pelvic radiation therapy
  • Urinary diversion surgery
  • Passage of kidney stones
  • Certain urologic cancers
  • External trauma
Symptoms of Ureteral Stricture

There are many symptoms that may indicate ureteral strictures, including:

  • Flank pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Infection
Diagnosis of Ureteral Stricture

Early detection is recommended to prevent serious kidney problems. Your urologist will conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation which may involve:

  • Medical and physical examination
  • X-ray, electromagnetic energy produces images of bones and internal organ
  • Ureteroscopy a thin viewing instrument (ureteroscope) passed into the urethra through the bladder and the ureter.
  • Retrograde pyelogram or nephrostogram uses special contrast agent (dye) to produce detailed X-ray pictures of the ureters and kidneys
  • Ultrasound Ultrasound, a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.
  • CT-scan, a noninvasive imaging procedure to detect abnormalities that may not show up on an X-ray.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a noninvasive procedure that produces a two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure.
Treatment for Ureteral Stricture

Your urologist will decide the best treatment option for you after evaluating your ureteral stricture. Treatment may include:

  • Laparoscopic or robotic surgery to repair the stricture
  • Open surgery may be recommended in some cases
What You Should Expect

You will receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation and receive clinically-proven treatment by a board-certified urologist who specializes in ureteral stricture disease. Because ureteral strictures can recur, you will be followed closely by your surgeon with imaging tests to assure healing.

Multidisciplinary Care

Brigham and Women’s Hospital practices a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, routinely collaborating with colleagues in other medical specialties. If your urologist discovers that an underlying illness has contributed to your ureteral stricture, you will be referred to an appropriate BWH physician for an evaluation.


Go to our online health library to learn more about urology diseases and tests.

Visit the Kessler Health Education Library in the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families to access computers and knowledgeable staff.

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