Surgery for your kidney stones might be necessary if the stone:
- Causes too much pain
- Becomes too large to pass spontaneously
- Blocks urine flow
- Causes tissue damage
- Results in some type of urinary tract infection
One procedure, called ureteroscopy, allows for treatment of stones in the kidney and the ureter.
What to expect
- A small telescope, called an ureteroscope (flexible or rigid) is inserted through the urethra (without an incision) into the bladder, ureter and kidney.
- The stone is then removed via a cage-like instrument (stone basket) or shattered with a holmium laser. A stent is typically left in the ureter to allow for healing.
- The procedure is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis and the stent is removed in the office within 1-2 weeks under cystoscopic guidance using a local anesthetic.
- The procedure has the benefit of low morbidity, early recovery and precise fragmentation of the stone under direct vision without any harm to surrounding kidney.
- Unlike ESWL and PCNL, ureteroscopy can be performed in patients on blood thinners. Large stones (>2cm) may be treated as well; however, it may require more than one trip to the operating room.