Ureteroscopy: Non-invasive Treatment for Kidney Stones
Procedure name Ureteroscopic Lithotripsy (URSL)
Surgery Type Minimally invasive
Hospital Stay 0-1 day (Outpatient procedure)
Duration of Surgery 30-60 minutes
Type of Anesthesia General anesthesia, Spinal anesthesia
Full Recovery 1-2 weeks
Suffering from kidney stones? We feel you. Kidney stones are hard deposits made of salts and minerals that form inside the kidneys and can be found lodged anywhere in the urinary tract, be it the kidneys, bladder, or ureters
Kidney stones may not cause any symptoms until they move around within the kidney or pass into one of the ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys and bladder). If the stone becomes lodged in the ureters, it can block the flow of urine and cause symptoms such as pain in the side and back, below the ribs, and radiating to the lower abdomen and groin. The pain may come in waves and you may also feel a burning sensation when peeing.
Among the many treatment options available to treat kidney stones is a procedure called ureteroscopic lithotripsy (URSL) . Let’s find out more about the procedure.
Ureteroscopic lithotripsy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to locate and treat kidney stones in the ureter and kidneys. The procedure is also known as URSL or ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy (ULL). It is required when the kidney stones are untreatable by medicines or other non-surgical options.
The term “ureteroscopic” indicates that a thin, lighted scope called a ureteroscope is inserted into the ureter via the urethra and bladder to locate the stones. Further, the term “lithotripsy” indicates that this procedure includes the physical destruction of kidney stones via a laser.
URSL has a highly successful stone passage rate and causes minimal complications. A precise laser is used to break up stones stuck in the ureteral passage. Stones less than 2 cm in diameter (small to medium size) can be effectively removed with URSL, giving way to relief from pain and urinary retention.
Note that ureteroscopic lithotripsy and stent placement go hand in hand. A stent is a small piece of plastic placed in the ureter that keeps the ureter open following surgery. Ureteroscopic lithotripsy is followed by stent placement for the easy passage of stone fragments.
Those with the following conditions can benefit from ureteroscopic lithotripsy :
Diagnostic tests to be carried out for ureteroscopic lithotripsy include:
The tests help determine underlying diseases and the size, number, and location of the stones.
Inform the doctor about altering the dose of your daily medicines as some medications like blood thinners may need to be stopped before the procedure to avoid potential complications.
The ureteroscopic lithotripsy procedure involves the following steps:
For this, ureteral stent placement is recommended together with the URSL procedure. Ureteral stents are plastic pieces placed in the ureter to expand the ureteral passage, which allows the stone to easily travel through the ureter, finally moving out of the body.
The following tips can help further with the recovery:
Also Read: Hydrocele
URSL effectively and safely offers you respite from the pain of kidney stones.
It is a modern, minimally invasive technique that involves no cuts or stitches. This keeps things more comfortable for the patient. Other benefits of ureteroscopic lithotripsy include:
Below are some other risks and complications possible after ureteroscopic lithotripsy. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these:
Note: Irrespective of the type of the procedure (cystoscopy left ureteroscopy laser lithotripsy, cystoscopy right ureteroscopy laser lithotripsy, or bilateral ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy) URSL/ULL is overall a safe and effective procedure for kidney stone removal with many advantages.
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