How is the procedure performed?
This is normally performed under general or spinal anaesthetic. The bladder is examined first and a guidewire inserted into the ureteric opening, past the stone, up to the kidney (pictured right); correct positioning is confirmed by "on-table" X-ray.
A long, rigid or flexible instrument is then passed alongside the guidewire until the stone can be seen. The stone is broken with a laser fibre or ultrasound probe and the fragments extracted with fine forceps or using a special retrieval "basket".
A ureteric stent may be inserted at the end of the procedure, depending on what has actually been done.
Video - Rigid ureteroscopy for a stone in the ureter
Features of this video (courtesy of Mr Oliver Wiseman)
- A guidewire (blue at 3 o'clock) inserted past the stone into the kidney
- The crystalline stone (yellow-brown) in the ureter
- A laser fibre (blue at 6 o'clock) which fragments the stone