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Treating Kidney Stones: Ureteroscopic Stone Removal

Image of ureteroscopic stone removal

Ureteroscopic stone removal may be done before, after, or instead of other treatments. If you need this procedure, your healthcare provider will discuss its risks and possible complications. You will be told how to prepare. And you will be told about anesthesia that will keep you pain-free during treatment.

Image of a ureteroscope
A ureteroscope lets your doctor see your stone before removing it.

Removing the stone through the ureter

Ureteroscopic stone removal extracts a small stone in your ureter without an incision. The ureter is the tube that urine flows through from the kidney to the bladder. Your doctor places a viewing tube (ureteroscope) in your ureter. A wire basket inserted through the tube removes the stone. Sometimes, a laser or a mechanical device is used to break up the stone. A soft tube may be left in your ureter briefly to drain urine.

Image of the stone being fragmented for withdrawal or passed out from the body
The stone may be fragmented. The stone is then withdrawn or passed.

Your recovery

This is an outpatient or overnight procedure. For a few days after surgery, you may feel some pain when you urinate. Or you may need to urinate more often, or have bloody urine. You may have a ureteral stent. This is a soft tube that prevents blockage from swelling after the procedure. The stent is removed when the swelling goes down, often within days. Follow up as instructed to check for any new stones.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if:

  • You have sudden pain or flank pain

  • You have a fever over 100.4°F (38°C) or as advised by your health care provider

  • You have nausea that lasts longer than suggested in your discharge instructions

  • You have heavy bleeding when you urinate

  • You have heavy bleeding through your drainage tube

  • You have swelling or redness around your incision

Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Walead Latif MD
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2020
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