A ureteroscopy is an examination using a ureteroscope.
A ureteroscope is used to see beyond the bladder into the ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Through the ureteroscope, if a stone is seen in the ureter it can be removed. A small basket at the end of a wire is inserted through an extra channel in the ureteroscope.
The reasons for a ureteroscopy include:
You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery. An X-ray may be taken in advance of surgery to confirm the position of your stone(s). You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery. A general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. You will be given injectable antibiotics before the procedure, after checking for any allergies. A ureteric stent may be left in place, and occasionally a bladder catheter will be left in. If a bladder catheter has been inserted, this is usually removed on the day after surgery. You will be able to go home once you are passing urine normally. Most patients go home on the same day as their operation.
You may suffer from mild burning or bleeding on passing urine for short period after operation. Taking URAL often helps. If you have to have a ureteric stent inserted you will require a further procedure to remove it. The stent may cause pain, frequency and bleeding in the urine. Small blood clots or stone fragments may also pass down the ureter from the kidney, resulting in pain. Occasionally it is not possible to retrieve the stone and you may need further treatment. Stones may reoccur in the future. Very rarely damage to the ureter will require an open operation or a tube to be placed into the kidney directly from the back to allow any leak to heal.
If you develop a fever, severe pain on passing urine, inability to pass urine or worsening bleeding, you should contact Dr Meyer immediately.
When you get home, you should drink twice as much fluid as you would normally to flush your system through and minimise any bleeding. You may experience pain in the kidney over the first 24-72 hours. Anti-inflammatory painkillers will help this pain which normally settles after 72 hours. It will take at least 10 days to recover fully from the operation. You should not expect to return to work within 7 days.
If a stent has been inserted, you will be informed before your discharge when the stent needs to be removed. You can prevent further stone recurrence by implementing changes to your diet and fluid intake. A diet low in salt and animal protein in addition to a high daily fluid intake especially during the summer months has been shown to decrease the risk of stone reoccurrence.
Dr Meyer will write to both you and your GP confirming your follow up arrangements after your Ureteroscopy. If you have any questions concerning your care after your surgery please contact Dr Meyer's rooms on 07 38834431 or 0488 378016.