Ureteroscopy is a procedure used for many reasons in urology, but most often for the treatment of kidney or ureter stones.
Under anesthesia, a scope is placed into the bladder and the opening of the appropriate ureter is identified. Usually, a retrograde pyelogram is performed which is where contrast is injected into the ureter and kidney to better evaluate the anatomy. A guidewire is then placed into the kidney and over the wire, the ureteroscope is placed. Once the scope is in the ureter or kidney, small instruments are used to complete the operation.
For small stones, basket devices are used to grasp the stone and remove it from the patient, and if stones are larger, a laser can be used to break the stone into smaller pieces. For a potential tumor, a biopsy can be taken and the suspicious area cauterized.