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Kidney stones may remain in your kidneys causing no symptoms. However if a stone begins to move out of your kidneys it can be painful or block the passage of urine and you may need treatment.

Your kidneys are a filter for your body - removing waste chemicals and excess fluid from your blood by making urine. Most waste dissolves in your urine and passes from your body unnoticed. However if there is a build-up of chemicals, tiny crystals can form. Several crystals can clump together to form a kidney stone.

What happens during endoscopic kidney stone treatment?

There are several procedures used to treat or remove kidney stones. A procedure called a ureteroscopy is usually performed under general or spinal anaesthetic and takes about 1 hour. Your surgeon will use x-rays to help guide a tiny telescope (a cystoscope) into your urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder). They can confirm if there are any problems with your bladder by viewing it through the cystoscope. A thin guide wire will be passed down the cystoscope. After removing the cystoscope the guide wire is used to pass a ureteroscope directly to the kidney stone. Sometimes the ureteroscope is used to remove the stone. Your surgeon could also use a tiny laser to break up the stone.

Your surgeon may place a catheter in your bladder to help you pass urine immediately following your treatment.

Going home after kidney stone treatment

After your procedure you will be transferred to a recovery area. You may be able to go home the day of your procedure if you can pass urine on your own. In some cases an overnight hospital stay is required.

You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home when you are discharged. Take any pain relief medication as prescribed.

You may feel a stinging sensation when the first few times you pass urine. Drink plenty of fluids to help your pass urine and any pieces of your kidney stone.

You should be able to return to normal activities within 2-3 days after your surgery. Discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Most people make a good recovery after kidney stone treatment. As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:

  • Reaction to anaesthetic
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Specific complications of kidney stone treatment may include:

  • Damage to ureter
  • Narrowing of your ureter
  • Ureter blockage – piece of stone becomes lodged

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your surgeon?

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