by Deanna M. Neff, MPH
Cystolitholapaxy is a procedure to break up bladder stones into smaller pieces and remove them. Bladder stones are minerals that have built up in the bladder. Ultrasonic waves or lasers may be delivered through a tool called a cystoscope to break up the stones.
Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is done to treat bladder stones.
Complications are rare, but all procedures have some potential risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
Other things to remember before the procedure:
With local anesthesia, a special jelly or fluid will be inserted into your urethra. This will numb the area. If you are having spinal anesthesia, it will be injected into your spine. General anesthesia will make you stay asleep during the procedure.
Description of Procedure
An instrument called a cystoscope will be placed through the urethra and into the bladder. The cystoscope has a camera that allows the doctor to see the stone. An ultrasonic probe or laser fiber is then passed through the cystoscope and used to fragment the stone. Stone fragments are flushed out of the bladder. The cystoscope is then removed.
Immediately After Procedure
Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you may be able to move around after the procedure. You may still have a catheter inside your urethra.
How Long Will It Take?
This is usually done in an outpatient setting. You will not need to stay overnight. The procedure takes 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the stones.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help with pain after the procedure.
At the Care Center
After the procedure, the care center staff may provide the following care:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
During recovery, avoid difficult activity and heavy lifting until your doctor says it is okay to do so.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Cystoscopy & ureteroscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/cystoscopy-ureteroscopy. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Cystoscopy for women. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gynecology/cystoscopy_for_women_92,P07723. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Marickar YM, Nair N, Varma G, Salim A. Retrieval methods for urinary stones. Urol Res. 2009;37(6):369-376.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 1/29/2021
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