If you have kidney stones and need a prompt solution, it might be time to speak with your doctor about a ureteroscopy.
Kidney stones form when the salts and other minerals of the body build up and create a blockage. Some people don’t notice the symptoms until they experience sharp pain, but you could also have blood in your urine.
During a ureteroscopy, your doctor will examine your ureter for kidney stones and tell you which option makes the most sense for your situation.
How a Ureteroscopy Works
A medical professional will do a ureteroscopy when they suspect you have kidney stones or other things blocking your kidney. Your doctor will begin by inserting a ureteroscope into your ureter, which is a small scope that lets the doctor see any issues that might be present.
The way the doctor moves forward from there depends on the size of the stone. For small stones, your doctor will use a scope that has a small receptacle on the end to grab and remove the stone. If you have large kidney stones in your ureter, the doctor will use other treatments to break them into smaller pieces before removing them.
It’s important to know if you are a candidate for this procedure so that you can make the best possible choice. Persistent pain around your lower abdomen and groin is one of the signs that you could need a ureteroscopy. You could notice pain when using the restroom, and cloudy urine is another sign that something is not right. An unaddressed kidney stone can progress and cause an infection, giving you a fever and chills.
What to Expect
When you arrive at the medical facility, you will speak with your doctor and learn what to expect while you are there. You can expect the procedure to last between 60 and 90 minutes. Depending on your medical history and preferences, the doctor will either give you medicine to numb the pain or to help you fall asleep until the end of the treatment for maximum comfort. The medicine given by your doctor could impair your ability to drive safely, so making sure you have someone to give you a ride is smart.
Your doctor will likely keep you on antibiotics for a few days after the treatment to reduce the risk of infection. You will notice significant improvements in your symptoms in the hours and days after your ureteroscopy. Before you leave the office, ask your doctor if you should follow specific instructions or schedule a follow-up appointment to check your progress.