Kidney stones that are present within the inner aspect of the kidney can be treated by a procedure called flexible ureteroscopy. This involves placing a small camera through the urethra, up the ureter and into the kidney to the kidney stone. The stone is broken into tiny fragments using a small laser called a Holmium laser. While this treatment is a well-established option for treatment of these stones, there are several different techniques used to help eliminate them from the kidney.
The stone can be removed by "basket" extraction whereby the ureteroscope is passed back and forth into the kidney to remove all visible stone fragments. It can also be removed by a method called "dusting" whereby the stones are broken into tiny fragments or "dust" with the intention that achieving such a small stone size will allow the stones to pass spontaneously.
The procedure is done as an outpatient under anesthesia, either general or spinal. Because there may be swelling of the ureter after handling, a stent is placed. A stent is a thin hollow tube that will span from the kidney to the bladder to facilitate urine flow in the postoperative period. The stent will be removed at your follow up visit.
For more information on treatment of kidney stones, call for an appointment with Dr. Knudsen (293-9349) or Dr. Begun (257-2396).