During a ureteroscopy, a doctor inserts an instrument known as a ureteroscope into the patient's urethra to view the inside of the body before then passing it through the bladder and ureter to remove any kidney stones from the patient, as WebMD explains. The doctor removes the kidney stones either with forceps or another instrument that grabs the stone.
Doctors can remove smaller kidney stones in one piece during ureteroscopies, or they can break up larger stones before removal using a laser or other instruments, according to WebMD. If a kidney stone is stuck in the ureter outside the kidney, the doctor may push it back into the kidney before breaking it up by using extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. During this procedure, shock waves break the kidney stone into smaller pieces for removal. Most people are able to go home after having a ureteroscopy, while others may have to remain under observation between 24 and 48 hours.
For several hours following the procedure, people who have ureteroscopies to remove kidney stones may experience burning sensations when urinating, but this usually goes away within 24 hours, as WebMD details. Patients can drink a lot of water to reduce the burning sensation, and doctors may prescribe medications to numb the pain. People may see blood in their urine for two to three days following ureteroscopies.