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Saturday, 20 Oct 2018

Ureteroscopy

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Urologists use Ureteroscopy to remove stones that are obstructing the ureter or reside within the kidney, following a reasonable trial of spontaneous passage. Ureteral stones (kidney stones that move down the ureter) frequently lead to renal colic causing pain, and if left untreated, can block the urinary tract causing an obstructive uropathy. Both Ureteroscopy and ESWL-extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (a procedure that uses high-energy shockwaves to break up stones into small particles that are passed out of the body in urine) achieve high success rates in managing ureteral stone disease.


This procedure is entirely endoscopic and no incisions are made. A fiberoptic instrument called a ureteroscope is passed into the urethra, then through the bladder and into the ureter to get to where the stone is located. The urologist removes the stone using an instrument called a stone basket that allows extraction of the stone. Smaller stones can be removed intact. Larger stones may need to be broken up before they can be removed. Several types of instruments are available to break up stones. But most urologists prefer to use the holmium laser.

Most people are able to go home the same day of the procedure. For several hours after the procedure one may experience a burning feeling during urination. This feeling should resolve within a day or two. Drinking a lot of water can help reduce the burning. Your doctor also may recommend a medication to numb the burning.
There may also be some blood in the urine for 2 or 3 days.
Ureteroscopy is successful in more than 95 out of 100 people.
Complications, although very uncommon, are more likely when the stone is closer to the kidney (upper third of the ureter) and include:

  • Injury to the ureter requiring a stent 
  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Abdominal pain