diagnosis of the problem
Patients may present with back/flank pain, which can be aggravated by having large intakes of fluid. The relation to fluid intake occurs because the kidney cannot balance the urine production with removal of the urine down the ureter and into the bladder when there is an obstruction. Alcohol intake can add to this problem as it has a diuretic effect on the kidney (i.e. encourages the kidney to make more urine similar to caffeine intake).
Investigations carried out by the urologist include CT scans, which can demonstrate the enlarged kidney system. A CT scan is like taking a static photograph and so to prove obstruction a moving picture over time is necessary. This test is called a renogram and show “dynamic obstruction” of the kidney. The renogram can also indicate how much function is present in the kidneys. Other tests include a pyelogram whereby X-Ray sensitive fluid is injected into the kidney system to demonstrate the obstructed anatomy.
If kidney obstruction is proved, the pyeloplasty operation can be offered to correct the obstruction by removing the obstructed section of ureter and refashioning the PUJ to form a draining “funnel” which will prevent damaging backpressure on the kidney.