What is it a Ureteroscopy (rigid & flexible)?
Ureteroscopy involves passing a long thin telescope called a ureteroscope up through the waterpipe (urethra) and bladder and into the tube (ureter) connecting the bladder with the kidney. It is usually performed to allow keyhole treatment of kidney stones.
How does it work?
The ureteroscope can either be rigid or flexible. Rigid ureteroscopy is usually performed to deal with stones that are stuck in the ureter. Flexible ureteroscopy is a newer procedure and uses a ‘steerable’ fibreoptic telescope, usually in conjunction with a laser (Lasertripsy) to fragment stones in the kidney itself.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit to ureteroscopy is to offer minimally invasive treatment for kidney and ureteric stones. By visualising the stone with a ureteroscope and fragmenting it with a laser, only a single treatment is usually required and patients are only in hospital for one night.
How safe is the treatment?
The treatment has been available for over ten years and as long as the surgeon is experienced in the technique it is extremely safe with few complications.
Paying for your operation
Ureteroscopy costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.