Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure where a device called a ureteroscopy is inserted through the urethra and bladder to the ureter where the kidney stone is located. Once the kidney stone is reached, Dr. Shusterman can use a basket-like device to collect the stone and remove it. Alternatively, if the stone is too big to pass through the ureter, he’ll use a laser to break up the stone into smaller pieces.
Ureteroscopy is considered minimally invasive because it doesn’t require any incisions to be made in your body. It’s typically performed as an outpatient procedure, although if the ureteroscopy ends up taking longer than expected or if the stone needs to be broken into smaller fragments before removal, you may need to stay overnight. If you’re a good candidate for ureteroscopy, Dr. Shusterman will discuss the procedure with you. That includes what to expect and any associated risks.
During percutaneous nephrolithotomy, Dr. Shusterman will make a small incision in your back to reach the kidneys and ureters to remove kidney stones that are too large to be treated with ureteroscopy or other techniques.
During the procedure, Dr. Shusterman uses specially designed surgical instruments, including a small and flexible telescope that allows him to see inside your body without the need for a large incision. X-ray technology can also be used to locate the stone.
Once Dr. Shusterman reaches the stone, he either removes it or breaks it into smaller pieces with a laser or a device called a lithotripter. The surgery will typically take three to four hours.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques provide better outcomes and reduced risks for most patients. Since there’s either no need for an incision or for only very small incisions, you’ll have a lower risk of infection as well as reduced scarring and quicker recovery times.
Specifically, ureteroscopy can treat kidney stones found at any location in the ureter or kidney. Ureteroscopy can also locate and treat stones that might not be found with x-rays or other diagnostic imaging services.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy has a very high success rate for removing large kidney stones. This procedure has greatly reduced the amount of time a patient will need to stay in the hospital, at least compared to what traditional kidney stone removal surgeries require. This matters a great deal to patients, since many of them report that they’d prefer to recover at home instead of the hospital.