Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Nephrolithiasis Surgery

The most common method for removing kidney stones requires an ureteroscope. The ureteroscope is a thin, flexible periscope that is placed into the urethra, passed through the bladder, and into the ureter. Once a kidney stone is identified, small tools grasp the stone and remove it from the ureter. The stone may also be broken into smaller pieces, using a laser or ultrasound.

After the procedure, the surgeon may place a stent into the urinary tract. A stent is a thin wire that runs through the ureter, bladder and urethra: one end of the wire is in the kidney, and the other end is outside the body. If the walls of the ureter become swollen, the stent keeps the ureter open, so that urine can continue to flow.

After the stent is placed in the ureter, a person may experience blood in the urine, mild burning during urination, and an increased urge to urinate. The stent is usually removed within a few days after the procedure.

Continue to Nephrolithiasis Home Care

Last Updated: May 22, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Nephrolithiasis References
  1. Hall PM. Preventing kidney stones: calcium restriction not warranted. Cleve Clin J Med. 2002 Nov;69(11):885-8. [12430973]
  2. Pietrow PK, Karellas ME. Medical management of common urinary calculi. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jul 1;74(1):86-94. [16848382]
  3. Portis AJ, Sundaram CP. Diagnosis and initial management of kidney stones. Am Fam Physician. 2001 Apr 1;63(7):1329-38. [11310648]
  4. Rao PN. Imaging for kidney stones. World J Urol. 2004 Nov;22(5):323-7. [15290203]
  5. Taylor EN, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC. Obesity, weight gain, and the risk of kidney stones. JAMA. 2005 Jan 26;293(4):455-62. [15671430]
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