Urology - Kidney Stone Centre
One method for removing kidney stones is to insert a very thin telescope, called an ureteroscope, into the urinary passage and up the ureter to break up and remove stones.
There are two types of ureteroscopes: rigid and flexible. Rigid ureteroscopes are more common and can usually only be used in the bottom half of the ureter. Flexible ureteroscopes can be sent all the way up into the kidney, but there are certain technical limitations which can make it more difficult to treat larger stones high in the ureter or kidney.
The procedure is generally performed under a general anesthetic or with intravenous sedation in the operative room. Patients generally return home the same day. A stent is often inserted before or after the procedure and left for a few days to prevent pain or discomfort from swelling.
Ureteroscopy is a safe and effective way of treating stones in the ureter and smaller kidney stones. It is often used as the first treatment for stones in the bottom portion of the ureter that do not pass on their own. It is also the best treatment for patients with stones in the ureter who have had unsuccessful shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) treatments, or who have stones that cannot be seen with X-rays since such stones are difficult to treat with SWL.