Surgery for Kidney Stones
Although some kidney stones located in the ureters can be treated with ESWL, an ureteroscopy may be needed. In an ureteroscopy, the surgeon will pass a small fiber-optic instrument called a ureteroscope through the urethra and bladder into the ureter. The surgeon will then locate the stone and either remove it with a cage-like device or shatter it with a special instrument that produces a form of shock wave. A small tube or stent may be left in the ureter for a few days to help the lining of the ureter heal.
(Click Stents for Kidney Stones for more information.)
Major Surgery for Kidney Stones
Up until 1986, major surgery was necessary to remove kidney stones. This surgery can be painful and requires a recovery time of four to six weeks. However, today, less than 5 percent of kidney stones cases require major surgery, and this is now reserved for the most complicated and difficult cases.
People with hyperparathyroidism who develop calcium stones will usually need surgery to remove the parathyroid glands (located in the neck). The removal of the glands will usually cure the patient's problem with hyperparathyroidism and kidney stones.