All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > A to Z > U > A to Z: Ureterocele
A to Z: Ureterocele

A to Z: Ureterocele

A ureterocele (yu-REE-ter-oh-seel) is an enlarged area in the lower portion of the tubes (ureters) that carry urine (pee) from the kidney to the bladder.

More to Know

Ureteroceles are caused by a birth defect in which the opening in the ureter is too small for urine to pass freely into the bladder. As a result, urine backs up into the ureter, causing it to swell like a balloon. Sometimes a ureterocele will cause pee to flow backward from the bladder to the kidney (this is called reflux), which can lead to kidney damage.

Most cases of ureterocele are diagnosed before a child is 2 years old. Others aren't discovered until later in life when the condition causes kidney problems or recurrent urinary tract infections.

Some people with ureteroceles have no symptoms at all. Others may have abdominal, side, or back pain; a burning sensation when urinating; fever; an increased urge to pee; and loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence). The pee may have blood in it or be foul-smelling. Sometimes a lump is felt in the abdomen.

Several types of surgery can permanently correct ureteroceles. Drains and antibiotics can help relieve symptoms in the short-term.

Keep in Mind

With treatment, most people with ureteroceles will be able to have and maintain normal urinary function.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Related Articles
P    A to Z: Kidney Stones
P    A to Z: Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR)
T    Blood in the Urine (Hematuria)
K    Chronic Kidney Diseases
T    Glomerulonephritis
T    Kidney Stones
P    Kidneys and Urinary Tract
T    Kidneys and Urinary Tract
K    Movie: Urinary System
P    Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions
P    Ultrasound: Bladder
P    Ultrasound: Renal (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder)
P    Urinary Tract Infections
T    Urinary Tract Infections
K    Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
K    Your Kidneys
K    Your Urinary System
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2015 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved