Doctors treat kidney stones with laser lithotripsy, in which kidney stones are located with a scope and broken up with a laser, states the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The urologist then extracts pieces of the stones or allows them to be flushed out in the urine.
Ureteroscopy is a common procedure in which a urologist places a scope through the urethra to the bladder and ureter. Using the scope, urologists can determine where the kidney stones are without needing to operate and create lesions, the school states. Once they find the kidney stones, urologist can break them up with a variety of instruments. Most of them prefer to use lasers, says WebMD.
Laser lithotripsy commonly accompanies a ureteroscopy procedure, states the school. The laser breaks up the stones efficiently, and many small pieces don’t have to be extracted. Then, urologists place a stent inside the kidney to help it drain after the operation. Overall, patients find ureteroscopy to be a successful procedure that works especially well on small- to medium-sized kidney stones that lay low in the urinary tract. Other patients can choose shockwave lithotripsy, which involves sound waves instead of lasers, to treat their kidney stones.