Principles of the Procedure
This procedure is performed to look into the ureter or the kidney’s (pyeloscopy) collecting system via the use of a narrow, flexible or semi-rigid telescope. If a stone is present, it is fragmented either with a lithoclast or with a laser. The fragments are then removed and sent for analysis. Depending on the size and position of the stone, an internal stent may need to be placed pre-operatively or post-operative for a short period of time.
You will be admitted on the day of the procedure. You will need to have a recent urine test (within 2 weeks of the surgery) to ensure that you do not have a urine infection. Sometimes a ureteric stent will be inserted at a procedure prior to the ureteroscopy; this unblocks the ureter if there was an obstructing stone, allows the ureteric oedema to settle down and makes the subsequent ureteroscopy a safer procedure. No other specific preparation is needed apart from fasting from about 6 hours prior to the surgery. You should continue to take your usual medications unless directed by your Urologist or his anaesthetist. Please inform us if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood thinning) medication.
Expected Post-Operative Recovery
Depending on the degree of complexity of the procedure, you may need a temporary stent inserted at the end of the case. This is then easily removed about 2 weeks later at separate cystoscopy. The majority of patients are discharged home either on the same day of the surgery or the next day. Occasionally a catheter is left in your bladder overnight and removed the next morning, prior to your discharge.
Some blood staining of the urine can occur after you go home, though this almost always settles by keeping your oral intake of fluids up.
Risks – as per your discussion with your Urologist
Dysuria and bladder irritation
Stent irritation, flank discomfort
Urine or systemic infection, requiring re-admission
Need for repeat procedure for complete stone clearance (large stone burden cases)