Kidney & Ureteral Stones

The Operation

This procedure has been performed on many patients over the last several years. Typically, the length of the operation is three to four hours. The surgery is performed through making three small (1cm) incisions in the abdomen. A small plastic tube called a ureteral stent (a thin, hollow tube that drains urine from the kidney through the ureter and into the bladder) is left inside the ureter at the end of the procedure to bridge the pyeloplasty repair. This stent will remain in place for four weeks and is usually removed in the doctor's office.

Potential Risks and Complications

Although this procedure has proven to be very safe, as in any surgical procedure there are risks and potential complications. The complication rates are similar when compared to the open surgery. Potential risks include:

  • Bleeding: Blood loss during this procedure is minimal and only rarely is a blood transfusion necessary.
  • Infection: All patients are treated with broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics prior to starting the surgery to decrease the chance of infection from occurring after surgery. If you develop any signs or symptoms of infection after the surgery (fever, drainage from the incision, urinary frequency/discomfort or pain) or anything else that you may be concerned about, please contact us at once.
  • Hernia at incision site is uncommon.
  • Tissue / Organ Injury: Although uncommon, possible injury to surrounding tissue and organs including bowel, vascular structures, spleen, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder could require further surgery.
  • Conversion to Open Surgery: This surgical procedure may require conversion to the standard open operation if difficulty is encountered during the laparoscopic procedure. This could result in a larger standard open incision and possibly a longer recuperation period.
  • Failure: Roughly 3% of patients undergoing this operation will have persistent blockage due to recurrent scarring. If this occurs additional surgery will be necessary.