Endourology and Urinary Stone Disease
What is Endourology?
Endourology is a minimally invasive technique available to treat kidney stones. Stones may be extracted or fragmented using tiny instruments through natural body channels such as the urethra, bladder, and ureter. In addition to treatment, our doctors help determine the cause of kidney stone development and help identify methods to prevent further stone formation. Thin, flexible instruments including lasers, graspers, miniature stone retrieval baskets, special scalpels, and cautery, can be advanced through working channels in the scopes in order to perform surgery without creating any incisions at all. The majority of endoscopic procedures can be done on an outpatient basis.
Endourological procedures include:
1. Urethroscopy: used to treat strictures or blockages of the urethra.
2. Cystoscopy: used to treat bladder stones and tumors. Obstructing prostate tissue can be removed with this approach as well (a procedure called “TURP”). Flexible plastic tubes called stents can be passed up the ureter using cystoscopy and x-rays to relieve blockage of the ureter.
3. Ureteroscopy: used to treat stones and tumors of the ureter.
4. Nephroscopy: used to treat stones and tumors of the kidney lining.