Ureteroscopy (URS) is a preferred method for the treatment of small- to medium-sized kidney stones located in any part of the urinary tract.
- The procedure is typically performed with the patient under general anaesthesia (asleep).
- During this procedure, a ureteroscope is inserted through the urethra and bladder into the ureter (a tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder) or kidney.
- X-ray images with a contrast agent (dye) in the ureters may be used to allow the urologist to see where the stone is located and to rule out other abnormalities.
- The ureteroscope is long and thin with a tiny fibre optic camera at the end that is used to see beyond the bladder into the ureters.
- Once the stone is located, it is pulled out directly with a “stone basket” or a laser is used to break the stone into smaller pieces before they are extracted using the basket.
Some ureteroscopes are flexible like a thin, long straw. Others are more rigid and firm.