Ureter : Detailed Explanation


 What Is Ureter?

The ureter is a kidney-shaped tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside world. Ureters are located on either side of the bladder and are about 12-15 cm long. They come out of the bladder at the front and merge into the renal pelvis.

Ureter, a tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder, is a common site of infection. Many infections are caused by bacteria, but some are caused by viruses. Viruses are small, rod-shaped creatures that can live in the air, on food, or in water. They can cause diseases like the common cold, flu, and RSV.

The ureters are tubes manufactured from easy muscle that propel urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. In a human adult, the ureters are typically 20–30 cm (8–12 in) long and round three–4 mm (zero.12–0.16 in) in diameter. The ureter is lined by urothelial cells, a type of transitional epithelium, and has an additional clean muscle layer that assists with peristalsis in its lowest third.

Structure of the ureter

The ureter is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside world. It begins near the bladder, in the lower part of the urethra, and passes through the penis and the rectum before entering the bladder.

The ureters are tubular structures, about 20–30 cm (7.Nine–11.Eight in) in adults,that pass from the pelvis of each kidney into the bladder. From the renal pelvis, they descend on the pinnacle of the psoas main muscle to attain the brim of the pelvis. Here, they pass in front of the not unusual iliac arteries. They then bypass down alongside the sides of the pelvis and finally curve ahead and input the bladder from its left and proper aspects at the back of the bladder.The ureters are 1.5–6 mm (0.059–zero.236 in) in diameter and surrounded by using a layer of easy muscle for 1–2 cm (0.39–zero.79 in) near their ends simply before they enter the bladder.

The ureters input the bladder from its back surface, journeying 1.Five–2 cm (zero.Fifty nine–zero.Seventy nine in) earlier than starting into the bladder at an attitude on its outer returned surface at the slit-like ureteric orifices.This vicinity is also called the vesicoureteric junction.In the contracted bladder, they're about 25 mm (1 in) apart and about the same distance from the internal urethral orifice; in the distended bladder, these measurements may be increased to approximately 50 mm (2 in).

A quantity of structures pass by, above, and across the ureters in their direction down from the kidneys to the bladder.In its higher part, the ureter travels at the psoas fundamental muscle and sits simply at the back of the peritoneum. As it passes down the muscle, it travels over the genitofemoral nerve. The inferior vena cava and the belly aorta sit to the midline of the proper and left ureters, respectively.In the decrease part of the abdomen, the proper ureter sits at the back of the lower mesentery and the terminal ileum, and the left ureter sits at the back of the jejunum and the sigmoid colon. As the ureters enter the pelvis, they're surrounded by a way of connective tissue, and journey backward and outward, passing in front of the inner iliac arteries and internal iliac veins. They then journey inward and forward, crossing the umbilical, inferior vesical, and center rectal arteries.From here, in males, they cross below the vas deferens and in the front of the seminal vesicles to go into the bladder near the trigone.In females, the ureters bypass behind the ovaries after which tour within the decrease midline phase of the extensive ligament of the uterus. For a short element, the uterine arteries journey on pinnacle for a quick (2.Five cm (zero.98 in)) duration. They then pass through the cervix, visiting inward towards the bladder.

Ureter function

The ureters are muscular tubes that play a crucial role in the urinary system, specifically in the process of urine transport from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. Here's an overview of their function:

  • Urine Transport: The primary function of the ureters is to transport urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. Urine is produced in the kidneys as a result of filtration, reabsorption, and secretion processes. Once urine is formed, it is continuously collected in small structures called renal pelvises in each kidney.

  • Peristaltic Contractions: The walls of the ureters are made up of smooth muscle fibers that can contract and relax. These muscles generate rhythmic contractions known as peristalsis. Peristalsis propels urine in wave-like motions through the length of the ureters. These contractions are important for moving urine against gravity and into the bladder.

  • One-Way Valve Mechanism: At the point where the ureters enter the urinary bladder, there are small flap-like structures called ureterovesical valves. These valves help prevent the backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureters. This is essential to ensure that urine flows in only one direction, from the kidneys to the bladder, and prevents urine reflux (retrograde flow).

  • Pressure Regulation: The ureters help regulate the pressure within the urinary system. When urine accumulates in the renal pelvis, it triggers stretch receptors in the walls of the ureters. This signal initiates peristaltic contractions, propelling the urine downward and preventing excessive pressure buildup in the kidneys.

  • Sphincter Control: While the ureters themselves do not have sphincters, the muscular junction between the ureters and the bladder, called the ureterovesical junction, acts as a functional sphincter. This junction helps prevent urine from flowing back into the ureters when the bladder contracts to expel urine.

  • Continual Process: The function of the ureters is continuous, allowing urine to be transported from the kidneys to the bladder at a steady rate. This ensures that waste products and excess substances are efficiently eliminated from the body.

Overall, the ureters play a vital role in maintaining the proper functioning of the urinary system by facilitating the transport of urine from the kidneys to the bladder and preventing the backflow of urine.

Anyone can broaden a ureteral stone. However, you’re much more likely to get a ureteral stone in case you:

  • Are a man or had been assigned male at start.

  • Are white.

  • Are between the ages of 40 and 60.

  • Have had ureteral stones before.

  • Have a circle of relatives records of ureteral stones.

  • Don’t drink too much water.

  • Have diabetes.

  • Have polycystic kidney disease.

Ureter Problems

Ureters are the narrow tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder and play a crucial role in the urinary system by transporting urine from the kidneys to the bladder for eventual elimination from the body. Various problems can arise with the ureters, leading to discomfort and potential health issues. Some common ureter problems include:

  • Ureteral Obstruction: This occurs when something blocks or restricts the flow of urine through one or both ureters. Common causes include kidney stones, blood clots, tumors, or scar tissue. Ureteral obstruction can lead to pain, infection, and kidney damage if not treated promptly.

  • Kidney Stones: These are solid mineral and salt deposits that form within the kidneys and can sometimes travel down the ureters, causing intense pain known as renal colic. Kidney stones can become lodged in the ureter, causing obstruction and severe discomfort.

  • Ureteral Stricture: A ureteral stricture is a narrowing of the ureter due to scar tissue, inflammation, or other factors. This narrowing can impede urine flow and lead to urinary retention and kidney problems.

  • Ureteral Reflux: Ureteral reflux occurs when urine flows backward from the bladder into one or both of the ureters, potentially leading to kidney infections or other complications.

  • Ureteral Injury: Trauma or surgery in the abdominal or pelvic area can cause damage to the ureters. Injuries can lead to leaks, strictures, or complete blockages.

  • Ureteral Tumors: Tumors that develop in the ureters are relatively rare, but they can lead to blockages, bleeding, and other symptoms. They can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

  • Ureteral Fistula: An abnormal connection between the ureter and another structure, such as the bowel or the skin, can develop as a result of infection, surgery, or other factors.

  • Congenital Abnormalities: Some individuals may be born with anatomical abnormalities of the ureters, such as an extra ureter or a ureter that doesn't connect properly to the bladder.

Treatment for ureter problems depends on the specific issue and its severity. Mild cases may be managed with pain relief medications, antibiotics, and other conservative measures. More serious cases may require surgical intervention, such as the removal of kidney stones, repair of strictures, or removal of tumors. Early detection and appropriate treatment are important to prevent complications and maintain proper urinary function.

If you suspect you have a ureter problem or are experiencing symptoms such as severe pain, changes in urine output, or urinary tract infections, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How is it diagnosed in the Ureter?

Diagnosing a specific condition in the ureter would depend on the symptoms, medical history, and the suspected underlying issue. There are several conditions that can affect the ureter, such as kidney stones, ureteral strictures, infections, and tumors.

The diagnostic process for issues in the ureter might involve:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: A doctor will likely start by discussing your symptoms, medical history, and any relevant factors. They may also perform a physical examination.

  • Imaging Tests: Various imaging techniques can help visualize the ureter and identify potential problems. These tests can include:

    • Ultrasound: Uses sound waves to create images of internal structures.

    • CT Scan (Computed Tomography): Provides detailed cross-sectional images of the ureter and surrounding structures.

    • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Offers detailed images using magnetic fields and radio waves.

    • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): Involves injecting a contrast dye into a vein, which helps highlight the urinary tract on X-ray images.

    • Cystoscopy: Involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera (cystoscope) into the urethra and bladder to visualize the ureters and other urinary structures.

  • Laboratory Tests: Urine and blood tests can provide information about kidney function, infection, and other issues that might be affecting the ureter.

  • Ureteroscopy: This involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera (ureteroscope) into the ureter through the urethra and bladder. This allows direct visualization of the ureter and the possibility of performing certain procedures, such as removing kidney stones or taking biopsies.

  • Biopsy: If a tumor or abnormal growth is suspected, a biopsy might be performed to collect a small tissue sample for analysis.

  • Urodynamic Studies: These tests assess the function of the bladder and ureter. They can help diagnose conditions like ureteral obstruction or reflux.

  • Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG): A type of X-ray that evaluates how urine flows from the bladder through the ureters.

The specific diagnostic approach will depend on the symptoms, suspected condition, and the information gathered during the initial assessment. It's important to consult a qualified medical professional if you're experiencing any urinary symptoms or concerns about your ureter or urinary tract. They can provide accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Maintaining the health of the ureter

In the 1800s, surgeons discovered that they could improve the health of the ureter by performing a surgery on a patient’s bladder neck. This procedure would remove part of the bladder and attach it to the ureter.

This operation was first done on a dog and was successful. Over time, this surgery was refined and became known as ureteral reconstruction surgery. Ureteral reconstruction surgery is a common procedure and is currently used to treat a variety of conditions, including bladder problems, kidney problems, and obstructions.

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