Treating Kidney Stones: 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. You will also be given information about the type of anesthesia you will have. This will keep you pain-free during treatment.

Removing the stone through the ureter

Ureteroscopic stone removal extracts a small stone in your ureter. This is done without an incision. The ureter is the tube that urine flows through from the kidney to the bladder. Your healthcare provider 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.

Front view of kidney, ureter, and bladder showing ureteroscope in ureter with laser breaking up kidney stone.

Your recovery

This is an outpatient or overnight procedure. For a few days after surgery, you may feel some pain when you urinate. You may also feel the 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 healthcare 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: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Walead Latif MD
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2022
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