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Urteroscopy is a diagnostic technique for examining the ureter and the bladder with the help of an ureteroscope. Apart from diagnosis, your doctor might also consider treating various conditions of the urinary tract with the help of an urteroscope.


Why ureteroscopy is done?

  • To remove stones from the kidney and urinary tract
  • Recommended for patients who cannot undergo shockwave lithoscopy
  • To diagnose medical conditions of the ureter
  • Diagnostic test for blood in urine


Who cannot undergo ureteroscopy?

Ureteroscopy might not be the suitable option for 

  • People who have undergone anatomical reconstruction of bladder and urinary tract
  • Patients with stones that have grown abnormally large; complete eradication becomes impractical with ureteroscopy


How is ureteroscopy performed?

Ureteroscope is a thin flexible instrument or you can simply say it’s a flexible telescope which is inserted through the urethra to reach the bladder, ureter or the kidneys. Once the stone is located, the urologist either applies the technique of basket extraction to remove the stone or uses laser to break up the stones into fragments which are eradicated naturally from the body through urine. Laser beam ureteroscopy entails use of flexible fibre scope.


How to prepare for ureteroscopy?

Your doctor will evaluate the size and location of the stone and then determine the technique suitable for you. 

Make sure you let your doctor know about your medical history, if you are pregnant or planning for it, allergies or if taking any medicines.

You will not be allowed to drink or eat anything at least 5 hours before the test. Take your medicines as directed by your doctor. In this perspective, medicines that trigger bleeding like aspirin, vitamin E etc. may be stopped one week prior to the surgery.

Usually, doctors perform urine test before performing ureteroscopy to rule out for infections.


What happens during ureteroscopy?

Ureteroscopy is performed under general or spinal anaesthesia on an outpatient basis and therefore you won’t be sensing pain and discomfort. A sterile saline solution would be delivered to the bladder through the scope to get a better view of it. The whole procedure would is performed under visual guidance as well as X ray. A small stent is left in ureter to ensure urinary efficacy.

Depending upon the technique applied, ureteroscopy can last from an hour to few, or might require an overnight stay in the hospital.


What to expect after ureteroscopy?

You have to drink 8-ounce glasses of water for 2 hours after the test, for quick elimination of the stone fragments. You can urinate, however you are most likely to sense mild burning while passing urine and it might be reddish in colour. These are normal after symptoms of ureteroscopy. Slight discomfort in kidney, bladder and ureter is also experienced. Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infections.  You need follow up visit for removal of the stent.


Are there any risks of ureteroscopy?

Risks of infections are very rare as you will be taking antibiotics. Small chances of bleeding and injury to the ureter are there.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 07, 2014