Kidney & Ureteral Stones
Ureteroscopy is a procedure using a thin telescope (ureteroscope), which is passed through the urethra. The ureteroscope is passed into the bladder and then to the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) in order to view the surface and to see the inside part of the kidney. Ureteroscopy is a very useful tool in the diagnosis of urological problems. This procedure is used for a variety of reasons including: blood in the urine, frequent urinary tract infections, kidney stones, abnormal cells in the urine and to rule out certain tumors in the ureters or kidneys.
Ureteroscopy provides patients with a safe and effective way to remove kidney stones (depending on the size and location) in the ureters and kidneys, provides a way to obtain tissue samples for biopsy and provides a way to remove scar tissue that may be obstructing the ureter. A laser can be inserted through the telescope and is used to break up stones, cut scar tissue or cauterize (burn) areas of bleeding or tumor. Small instruments including baskets and graspers can be passed to remove tissue or stones.
When compared to the conventional open surgical technique, ureteroscopy has resulted in significantly less post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay, earlier return to work and daily activities, and outcomes identical to that of open surgery. Ureteroscopy usually can be performed as an outpatient procedure however; you may require an overnight hospital stay.
What to Expect Prior to the Procedure
To assure your safety to undergo the procedure, the following tests need to be performed:
- Physical exam
- EKG (electrocardiogram)
- PT / PTT
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Urine culture and sensitivity