Endoscopic surgery

If the stone is in the ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder), the doctor may use a ureteroscope. This thin instrument is inserted into the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder when urinating), into the bladder, and then into the ureter. The surgeon catches the stones with a forceps and can break them with a special device or laser, and finally, removes them.

What is endourology?

Endourology is a minimally invasive surgical technique, by which, endoscopically, many diseases of the upper and lower urinary tract, from the urethra to the kidney, can be treated.

What does it consist of?

Endourology surgery is performed using an instrument similar to a telescope (endoscope), which is coupled to a camera and endourological instruments, which enters the body through natural ducts and cavities, such as the urethra, bladder, ureter and kidney, without make incisions.

This endoscopic procedure allows treating the patient’s problem on an outpatient basis, whether male or female, regardless of age or weight, without significant bleeding. Being able to avoid open surgery and finally presenting an excellent evolution and a prompt return to work.

This technique allows the removal or fragmentation of  kidney stones,  and surgeons can also determine what causes them and help prevent more from forming. 

What are the different types of endourological procedures?

Endourological procedures differ from traditional urological procedures by being minimally invasive. The different types are:

  • Urethroscopy : This is done if the surgeon needs to have a complete view of the urethra or bladder and needs to take tissue samples from the lining of any area to clarify the problem. The procedure is used to treat strictures from obstructions of the urethra.
  • Cystoscopy : This is used to look inside the bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope. It is inserted into the urethra and passed into the bladder to allow the doctor to see inside. Small instruments can be passed through the cystoscope to treat bladder problems. 
  • Ureteroscopy : It is an effective way for the urologist to get a clear view of the urinary tract, remove or break stones, and remove suspicious-looking tissue. Doctors sometimes use this procedure as part of shock wave lithotripsy, a treatment to break up kidney stones. The ureteroscopy is used to treat urinary obstruction and ureter tumors.
  • Nephroscopy : This is a non-surgical way of examining the inside of the kidneys. It is used to treat kidney stones, tumors of the lining of the kidney, and other conditions in the upper urinary tract. Using a small instrument, called a nephroscope, the thin part of the tube is inserted into the skin.

How is an endourological procedure performed?

Tiny, thin instruments, including lasers, scalpel graspers, miniature stone extraction baskets, and cautery, are used through the urethra, bladder, or ureter to perform surgery without having to make large incisions.