What Is the Process and Recovery Time for Kidney Stone Laser Surgery?

Kidney stone removal surgery is called a ureteroscopy and it entails a surgeon entering the urethra through the bladder to break up and remove stone with a laser and forceps, WebMD explains. Recovery time from a ureteroscopy is typically no more than two or three days.

During a ureteroscopy, a surgeon usually does not have to make any cuts through the skin, and instead uses a ureteroscope to locate kidney stones, according to WebMD. The surgeon then removes smaller kidney stones using forceps. However, larger stones cannot be removed in one piece, so the surgeon usually uses a laser to break them apart. The procedure is successful for most patients, and possible complications include abdominal pain, ureter injury, urinary tract infection and bleeding. Patients typically go home from the hospital on the same of the procedure, but some patients may stay for up to 48 hours.

Following the procedure, it is common to feel a burning sensation when urinating, WebMD reports. Doctors recommend drinking a lot of water to reduce the intensity of the burning. Patients may also notice blood in their urine for up to three days after a ureteroscopy. People with enlarged prostates or those who have a history of abdominal surgery may be at greater risk for complications following a ureteroscopy.