Ureters are thin tubes that connect and pass urine from the two kidneys to the urinary bladder. Sometimes, small hard mineral deposits called kidney stones may form in the ureters due to specific food intake or family history. Ureterolithotomy is a procedure used to remove stones from the ureters. Some stones may pass out through your urine, but ureterolithotomy is recommended when the stones are too large to pass out, and block the flow of urine, cause bleeding, pain or infection, or place pressure on the kidneys.
Prior to the ureterolithotomy, the stone is located using imaging tests. Ureterolithotomy is performed under general anesthesia and the entire procedure takes 60 to 90 minutes.
During the procedure, an incision is made on the side or abdomen based on the location of the stone. Skin and the underlying muscles are parted to expose the ureter. An incision is made in the ureter above the stone. The stone is removed and a stent (mesh tube) may be placed in the ureter to keep it open. The cut in the ureter is closed. The muscles are brought back and the skin incision closed with the help of sutures or staples. A drain (tube) is placed in the wound to drain out excess fluid.
After your procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room. An X-ray is taken to confirm the complete removal of the stone. You will be discharged from the hospital in 3 to 4 days.
Like all surgical procedures, ureterolithotomy may be involved with complications including:
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