Ureteroscopy: Before Your Procedure
What is a ureteroscopy?
A ureteroscopy is a type of procedure. Your doctor may do it to remove kidney stones from one of your ureters. These are the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder. Your doctor may also do it to help find the reason for a urinary infection or blood in your urine.
Your doctor puts a thin scope with very small tools in it into your urethra. This is the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. Then the doctor moves the scope through your urethra and bladder into your ureter.
The doctor may use a wire with a tiny basket on the end to take out a kidney stone. Or the doctor may use a laser to break up a stone. If this is done, the pieces will wash out of your body in your urine.
You may be awake during the procedure. Or you may have medicine to make you sleep. In either case, you will not feel pain.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of the procedure?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery centre
Bring a picture ID.
You may need to give a urine sample. This is to make sure you don't have an infection.
Before the procedure, a health professional will clean the area around your urethra. He or she will also put numbing gel inside your urethra.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
- You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter J496 in the search box to learn more about "Ureteroscopy: Before Your Procedure".
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine