- Strictures in the ureters represent rough scars in the walls of the ureter that narrow the central cavity and block the normal flow of urine.
- Only comprehensive imaging tests can rule out strictures in the ureters as the sole cause of urinary bleeding
The ureters are two muscular tubes that collect urine from the kidneys, transporting it to the urinary bladder where urine is temporarily stored before being expelled. Strictures in the ureters represent tough scars in the walls of the ureter that narrow the interior and block the normal flow of urine.
Abdominal pain, feverishness, and Hematuria are symptoms associated with the condition. Though blood in urine is a strong indicator of strictures in ureters, strictures are by no means the only abnormal condition that the presence of blood signifies.
Blood in the urine signals a variety of urogenital abnormalities starting with simpler infections to more serious ailments such as kidney stones, kidney diseases, prostate enlargement and cancer. Only comprehensive imaging tests can rule out strictures in the ureters as the sole cause of urinary bleeding.
Depending on the seriousness of the upper urinary tract blockage and infection if any, pain, fever, and hematuria will recur simultaneously or in stages.
Strictures in ureters arise for multiple reasons that cause secondary bleeding through urine
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapies not only destroy cancer cells but also affect healthy tissue. Many toxins are excreted from the body. These toxins may affect the walls of the ureter adversely creating scar tissue.
- Strictures may also form as a result of endoscopic techniques deployed in earlier upper urinary tract problems.
- The passage of kidney stones may also scar the epithelial lining of the ureter causing strictures.
- Any other surgical method used in combating ailments in the rectum, uterus and adjoining blood vessels.
- Traumatic impact suffered in the urogenital area from sporting activities or road accidents
Treatment options to tackle strictures and reduce blood in urine
If any upper urinary tract obstruction delays the flow of urine, it has a whiplash effect on the kidneys. It creates pressure within the kidneys (Hydronephrosis), seriously impairing their functioning.
- Insertion of a stent within the ureter
Through an endoscope, a small balloon is expanded within the ureter. A small tube is then positioned in the ureter to widen the ureteral cavity to enable urine to resume its undisturbed flow. In the meantime, corrective steps can be taken to remove and heal the strictures or scars.
- Retrograde pyelography of the ureter
This is a technique where a cable with a camera at its tip is positioned inside the ureter. The camera enables live visual feedback images of the interior of the ureter. The surgeon slices and removes the elevated layers of the strictures to smoothen the passage. Next, a stent is inserted and positioned at the site leaving it in place for a week or more till the scar tissue has healed completely.
Need for specialized care
Because of the complications associated with corrective ureteral surgery, a certified Urologist who is also a highly specialized in ureteral conditions will be called upon to diagnose and treat the ailment. Such a specialist will be needed because considerable follow-up visitations will be required to exchange feedback on therapies and restore normal health.
Treatment will cross the boundaries of various specializations
In all probability, the urologist will be coordinating treatment with Urology Surgery, Nephrology and Oncology specialties to ensure that complications are avoided and normalcy is restored.
The last word
The presence of blood in the urine is a strong signal of the onset of strictures in ureters. Nevertheless, you need not worry because strictures are prone to appear mostly in the aftermath of surgical manipulation of the upper urinary tract. If you have not gone through any surgeries of the abdomen, it could be possible that blood in the urine is sourced from other conditions.
Ruling out the causes of blood in urine
Blood in urine is commonly referred to as haematuria and is not a common or usual feature. When urine changes colour drastically or is accompanied by red blood corpuscles, causing it to turn brownish red to red in colour, it can be a cause of concern and could indicate serious complications. Strictures in the ureters are indicative of the narrowing of the walls of the ureters, thereby constricting free flow of urine to the urinary bladder. This may lead to a small or medium amount of back flow of urine and could prove to be distressing to the ureters and areas surrounding it. Thus, any form of disruption and friction to he ureters could cause irritation, erosion of the walls and in turn blood in urine. Depending on the severity of the condition, suitable treatment is given. While blood in urine could be because of strictures in the ureters, it does not necessarily imply that strictures are the only probable reason. A number of other reasons surround the phenomenon of haematuria. It could be caused due to other conditions like sickle cell anaemia, infection to the urinary tract itself, kidney issues, stones in the kidneys or bladder and many other reasons. Thus, it is important to find out the underlying cause and step forward for treatment soon after.
The ureters are carriers of urine to the urinary bladder. They serve as passages and any infection in them could surely pass on to the bladder and in turn come out with the urine in the form of blood or something similar. Any irregularities in the urine, change in colour of the urine, discomfort and pain while passing urine or the presence of red blood corpuscles in urine are indicative of n abnormal phenomenon. If the cause of such disruptions is strictures in the ureters, there are a number of processes of dealing with it. The treatment could involve rather log and tedious processes. Though treatment ensues soon after the condition is diagnosed, it does not ensure immediate relief, not necessarily. Thus, patients have to take continued medication, treatment and support for full recovery, in order to snap the chances of a relapse or secondary infections associated with its recurrence. Just like medication, dietary changes and lifestyle choices must be change in accordance as well.
It is important to seek medical advice from a doctor if something like this occurs, because they are the ones who will know the bet course of action.