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Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure – no incision is made and it is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. It utilizes a small scope passed into the urinary tract to locate and remove stones (renoscopy refers to passing the scope into the kidney). Both ureteral and renal (kidney) stones can be treated with this procedure.

uretoscopy diagram

Breaking Up the Kidney Stone

Utilizing the tiny scope that is like a small telescope, the physician can visualize the stone and use a special laser to break up the stone into tiny pieces that can be easily passed through the urinary system. This is sometimes referred to as “stone dusting” or breaking the stone into minute fragments that resemble grains of sand. Special laser and training are required to perform stone dusting.

Sometimes, the surgeon will use a tiny wire "basket" that is passed via the scope through the bladder and into the ureter and/or kidney to grab and clear any remaining stone fragments.
Because our urologic surgeons are highly skilled in stone dusting and removing ureteral and kidney stones, ureteroscopy is appropriate for nearly all stones; however, larger stones may require repeat procedures to completely clear the stone from the body.

Whenever possible, the urologist will collect the passed or surgically removed kidney stones to have them analyzed in a lab to determine the type of stones your body has made. This analysis will aid your physician in developing a personalized metabolic evaluation, treatment, and prevention plan for the future.