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Diagnostic ureteroscopy

NOTE: Some of the information provided contains graphic, medical images which individuals may find upsetting

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Rigid ureteroscope

How is the procedure performed?

This is normally performed under a general or spinal anaesthetic.

The bladder is examined first using a small telescope. A guidewire is inserted into the opening of the ureter and passed up into the kidney; correct positioning is confirmed by an "on-table" X-ray.

A thin rigid instrument (see diagram, right) or a flexible telescope is then inserted and the guidewire is followed to allow inspection of the whole ureter and, if necessary, the kidney itself.

Any abnormality can be biopsied or removed whilst stones can be extracted or fragmented with a laser. A ureteric stent may be inserted at the end of the procedure, depending on what procedure has been performed.

Video - Diagnostic ureteroscopy

Features of this video (courtesy of Mr Nigel Bullock)

  • The guidewire (pale green) inserted up to the kidney
  • The lining of the ureter (pale pink)
  • Many polyps (pale yellow) caused by inflammation due to stones and a long-term ureteric stent
  • At the beginning of the video, stones (brown-yellow) in the kidney, responsible for the infection