How is the procedure performed?
This is usually performed under a general or spinal anaesthetic. The bladder is first inspected with a small telescope, then the lithotrite (pictured below) is inserted and used to crush the stone(s) into small fragments. These fragments are then removed by suction.
Bladder stones often form due to prostate obstruction so it is not unusual for transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) to be performed at the same time.
Video - Crushing of bladder stones (litholapaxy)
Features of this video (courtesy of Mr Nigel Bullock)
- The interior lining (pink) of the bladder distended with fluid
- Several bladder stones (creamy yellow) lying on the base of the bladder
- The stone "punch" (silver), used to crush the stones, by gripping the stones between a cutting edge and the outer sheath of the instrument