Ureteroscopy is one of the surgical treatments used to address problems in the urinary tract, including stones in the ureter.  The urinary tract is a system of organs that converts liquid waste in the body to urine and carries it out of the body. It consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra, and can be affected by numerous conditions, including the blockage of the ureters by kidney stones. When this occurs, one of the popular treatment options is ureteroscopy, a surgical procedure that removes the stone from the ureter. It can also be used to evaluate and treat other causes of kidney blockage or blood in the urine.  

What Are the Benefits of Ureteroscopy? 

Ureteroscopy is an effective and popular treatment option because it offers a variety of benefits.  

For example, it: 

  • Allows your urologist to get a clear view of the urinary tract 
  • Can be used to remove or break up any stones that are present and take out any tissue that looks suspicious 
  • Is an outpatient procedure, so no hospital stay is required 
  • Has only a slight chance of complications 

Ureteroscopy Details 

Ureteroscopy is performed under general anesthesia and can either utilize a tiny basket to remove any stones or a laser to break stones up so they can pass through the ureter. If necessary, tissue samples can also be removed for biopsy.  

During the procedure, the ureterscope is inserted into the urethra and travels into the bladder, where it releases a sterile solution to fill the bladder so the walls can be seen clearly. The scope is then guided into the ureter to deal with any stones, and if there is a concern about a kidney, the scope can be moved all the way up to it.  

What to Expect With Ureteroscopy 

Patients who undergo ureteroscopy for kidney stones need an hour or more to recover from the anesthesia following the procedure and may experience painful urination and blood in the urine for 24 hours following the procedure. There’s also a small chance of infection. After the initial 24 hours, there should be little discomfort. 

How Effective Is Ureteroscopy? 

Ureteroscopy is an extremely effective treatment option and provides almost immediate symptom relief. It may not be a good treatment option when the stones in the ureter are extremely large, shaped oddly or unusually hard.  

Tampa General Hospital offers a wide array of treatment options for urological conditions, including ureteroscopy. Treatment for urological disorders will vary according to the stage and type of each patient’s condition, as well as his or her healthcare preferences.