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The surgeon, often a
urologist, doesn't make any incisions (cuts in the
body) for this procedure. He or she first inserts a thin viewing instrument
(ureteroscope) into the
urethra (the tube that leads from the outside of the
body to the bladder). Then, the doctor passes the ureteroscope through the
bladder and the
ureter, to get to where the
kidney stone is located.
See a picture of
The urologist can also use the ureteroscope to reach a kidney stone
that is stuck in the ureter just after it leaves the kidney. He or she may then
try to push the stone back up into the kidney. After the stone is back in the
kidney, the stone may be broken up using lithotripsy.
Most people are able to go home
the same day of the procedure. But you may need to stay in the hospital. If you do,
the stay is usually no more than 24 to 48 hours.
For several hours after the procedure you may have a burning feeling when you urinate. This feeling should go away within a day. Drinking a lot of water can help reduce the burning. Your doctor also may recommend you take medicine to numb the burning.
You may have some blood in your urine for 2 or 3 days.
Urologists use ureteroscopy to remove stones that are stuck in the
ureter and are closer to the bladder than the kidney
(in the lower third of the ureter). But newer technology is allowing
ureteroscopy to be used even for small stones in or near the kidney.
Ureteroscopy is successful in more than 95 out of 100
Complications are more likely when the stone is close to the kidney
(upper third of the ureter) and include:
Ureteroscopy may be more difficult, or not possible, if you have
had surgery on the abdomen or pelvis, an injury to the
ureter, or an enlarged
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Spector DA (2007). Urinary stones. In NH Fiebach et
al., eds., Principles of Ambulatory Medicine, 7th ed.,
pp. 754–766. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
April 28, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
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