On the day of your operation, we may arrange for another x-ray or CT scan to confirm that the stone hasn’t changed in any way. We’ll also check for urine infections which, if present, may delay your operation. A routine pregnancy test is also undertaken due to the use of x-rays during the procedure.
Once you’ve confirmed consent with your Consultant, the Anaesthetist will explain the general anaesthetic. They’ll also discuss post-procedure pain relief.
We’ll check you for allergies and, if it’s safe to proceed, will usually give you an antibiotic injection before your procedure. We may give you an injection of heparin, a blood thinner, and offer you anti-embolism stockings to prevent blood clots.
Your Consultant will pass a scope into the bladder via the urethra. A fine guidewire will be passed up to the kidney to guide the ureteroscope to the stone and its position is confirmed with x-ray guidance. The stone will be broken up with a laser. Some fragments may be removed, and smaller fragments can be left to pass naturally.
A plastic tube called a stent is often left in place for a few weeks after the operation to prevent any blockages. This is later removed under a quick, local anaesthetic procedure.