Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Kidney Stones Health Center

Font Size


For this procedure the surgeon, often a urologist, doesn't make any incisions (cuts in the body). He or she first inserts a thin viewing instrument (ureteroscope) into the urethra (the tube that leads from the outside of the body to the bladder). Then the doctor passes the ureteroscope through the bladder and the ureter, to get to where the kidney stone is located.

See a picture of ureteroscopy camera.gif.

  • The urologist removes the kidney stone with forceps or by using an instrument with a "basket" that grabs the stone.
  • Smaller stones can be removed all in one piece. Larger stones may need to be broken up before they can be removed.
  • Several types of instruments are available to break up stones. But most urologists prefer to use a laser.

The urologist can also use the ureteroscope to reach a kidney stone that is stuck in the ureter just after it leaves the kidney. He or she may then try to push the stone back up into the kidney. After the stone is back in the kidney, the stone may be broken up using lithotripsy camera.gif.

What To Expect After Treatment

Most people are able to go home the same day of the procedure. But you may need to stay in the hospital. If you do, the stay is usually no more than 24 to 48 hours.

For several hours after the procedure you may have a burning feeling when you urinate. This feeling should go away within a day. Drinking a lot of water can help reduce the burning. Your doctor also may recommend you take medicine to numb the burning.

You may have some blood in your urine for 2 or 3 days.

Why It Is Done

Urologists use ureteroscopy to remove stones that are stuck in the ureter and are closer to the bladder than the kidney (in the lower third of the ureter). But newer technology is allowing ureteroscopy to be used even for small stones in or near the kidney.

How Well It Works

Ureteroscopy works for most people.


Complications are more likely when the stone is close to the kidney (upper third of the ureter) and include:

What To Think About

Ureteroscopy may be more difficult, or not possible, if you have had surgery on the abdomen or pelvis, an injury to the ureter, or an enlarged prostate.

Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerTushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Kidney Stone
5 Signs You Might Have A Kidney Stone
Lots Of Water Part Of Kidney Stone Treatment
Research To Prevent Kidney Stones Under Way

Thumbnails Kids Get Kidney Stones Too
Food And Drink To Keep Away Kidney Stones
What Is A Kidney Stone Made Of
7 wonders of Water Slideshow