URETEROSCOPY & LASER
If you have a stone blocking the flow of urine from your kidney you will have been scheduled for surgery to relieve this blockage. You may have had a stent (a long thin plastic tube passing from the kidney to the bladder to bypass the stone and unblock the kidney) placed already. Dr Ende may have organised an X-ray to be taken at the time that you are admitted to Hospital to check on the position of the stone. Unless the stone is very small it is very uncommon for it to have passed while the tube is in place.
During the procedure the stent, if present, will be removed. A long fine telescope will then be passed through the penis and up to where the stone is lying in the ureter or in the kidney. A laser fibre will be passed through the telescope and the stone will be vapourised. If possible the fragments will be removed, but often if they are small enough they will pass quite freely without causing any problems.
On some occasions it may be necessary to place a stent back into the kidney following the procedure. This will only be performed to protect the kidney if there is a risk of pain or infection. In this situation the stent will only be needed for a short time (and in some circumstances a string may be left attached to the end of the stent which can then be removed quite easily either in Casualty or in Dr Ende’s rooms). There is a small risk of bleeding and infection during the procedure. It is extremely rare for any significant injury to the kidney to occur. In almost all cases the patient will go home on the same day as the procedure.