by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A ureteroscopy uses a small scope to look inside the ureters and kidneys. Ureters are tubes that carry urine away from the kidneys.
Reasons for Procedure
Ureteroscopy may be done to:
It may also be done as part of treatment:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
A urine test may be done to check for infection. An infection needs to be treated before the ureteroscopy can be done.
You will need to:
You will be given general anesthesia. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
A small scope will be passed into the opening of the urinary tract. It will be passed up into the bladder, ureters, then kidneys. The doctor will be able to see the urinary tract with the scope.
Some treatment or tests may be done. A piece of tissue may be removed for testing. A stent may also be placed to help keep the ureters open. The scope will be removed when work is done.
How Long Will It Take?
30 minutes or longer if a biopsy or tissue or kidney stone removal is done.
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain. You may have some burning during urination for 1 to 2 days after.
Average Hospital Stay
Most people go home the same day. You may need to stay longer.
At the Care Center
You may be given pain medicine.
You can return to your normal routine. Make an appointment to have the stent removed if one was used.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Cystoscopy and ureteroscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/cystoscopy-ureteroscopy#whatis. Updated June 2015. Accessed July 26, 2019.
Heat and cold therapy: understanding rationale for use. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://health.ebsco.com/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated June 15, 2018. Accessed July 26, 2019.
Nephrolithiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nephrolithiasis-in-adults-11. Updated July 25, 2019. Accessed July 26, 2019.
Ureteroscopy. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/ureteroscopy. Accessed July 26, 2019.
Ureteroscopy. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones_ureteroscopy. Accessed July 26, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 9/25/2019
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