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What is a ureteroscopy?

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Quick Answer

A ureteroscopy is the insertion of a flexible scope into the bladder and ureter to treat and diagnose issues in the urinary tract, states the National Kidney Foundation. Ureteroscopy is often used for small ureteral stones close to the bladder.

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Full Answer

Ureteroscopy is the preferred choice for patients who have a blood-clotting condition or who are morbidly obese or pregnant, claims the National Kidney Foundation. Ureteroscopy is often coupled with shock waves, electrical energy or a laser if a stone is attached too tightly on the ureter or if it is too large. At times, a stent is placed into the ureter for two to three weeks to widen the ureter for the procedure. A basket is also sometimes used during ureteroscopy to assist in the treatment.

A basket or forceps takes hold of the uterer stone after the scope is inserted into the urethra, explains WebMD. Large stones may be broken up before removal, and small stones are typically removed in one piece. A patient may feel a burning sensation during urination for a day after the procedure, and blood in the urine may appear for up to three days after a ureteroscopy. While a ureteroscopy is often successful, complications of this procedure include bleeding, ureter injury, urinary tract infection and abdominal pain. A ureteroscopy may not be recommended for individuals who have an enlarged prostate, have had pelvis or abdomen surgery or a ureter injury.

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