Schedule an initial consultation at one of these locations:

Utah Vascular Clinic


650 East 4500 South, Suite 100
Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Ogden Regional Medical Center


5475 South 500 East
Washington Terrace, UT 84405


Interventional Procedures

Ureteral Obstruction

What is a ureteral obstruction?

Ureteral obstruction is a blockage of the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, called the ureter. Blockages of the ureter are most often caused by a stone, tumor or scar tissue, or can result from a surgical complication. If the blockage is severe or long-standing, it can cause irreversible damage to the kidney. An active infection of the kidney together with a blocked ureter can be fatal if left untreated.

What is the treatment for a ureteral obstruction?

Blockage of the ureter can often be corrected by a urologist using a scope passed through the bladder, but sometimes the blockage must be relieved by placing a type of catheter, called a nephrostomy tube, directly into the blocked kidney. Nephrostomy tubes are placed using minimally invasive techniques by an interventional radiologist (IR).

How is a nephrostomy tube placed?

The patient is positioned on a special table and sedating medications are given. The skin and tissues over the kidney are numbed with a local anesthetic. Using ultrasound and x-ray imaging guidance, the interventional radiologist places a needle into the kidney. The needle is then exchanged over a soft, flexible wire for the nephrostomy tube.

How is the nephrostomy tube managed?

Many nephrostomy tubes can be removed after a few days or weeks, depending on whether the cause of the obstruction can be corrected. Sometimes a urologist will use the tube after it has been placed by the interventional radiologist (IR) to gain access to the kidney in the operating room. Occasionally, the IR will exchange the nephrostomy for a type of internal tube that is placed into the ureter, called a stent.

Refer to these websites for more information:

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Do you know the signs & symptoms?

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm.

  • Swelling, usually in one leg
    (or arm)
  • Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or
    Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg (or arm) warm to touch

Pulmonary Embolism

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus