Definition of Ureterocele
A ureterocele is a swelling at the bottom of one of the tubes (ureters) that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder. The swollen area can block urine flow.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A ureterocele occurs in the lower part of the ureter, where the tube enters the bladder. The swollen area prevents urine from moving freely into the bladder. The urine collects in the ureter and stretches its walls, blowing it up like a water balloon.
Signs and tests
Large ureteroceles are usually diagnosed earlier than smaller ones. A ureterocele may be discovered before the baby is born (during a pregnancy ultrasound).
Antibiotics are usually given to prevent further infections until surgery can be done.
The outcome varies. If the obstruction can be cured, the damage may be temporary. However, damage to the kidney may be permanent, especially if the condition doesn’t go away.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/3/2010