Kidney Stones Home > Ureteroscopy

A ureteroscopy is often recommended if a kidney stone becomes lodged in the ureter. During this procedure, a small camera is used to look inside the affected ureter. How the ureteroscopy is performed and what the doctor does are determined by the location, size, and composition of the kidney stone.

What Is a Ureteroscopy?

A ureteroscopy is a medical procedure that uses a small camera to look inside the ureter, which is one of the narrow tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. This procedure is needed if a person has a kidney stone lodged in his or her ureter. A ureteroscopy is usually done under general or regional anesthesia.

Understanding the Urinary System

The urinary tract system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located below the ribs toward the middle of the back. The role of the kidneys is to:
  • Help make red blood cells
  • Help keep bones strong
  • Remove extra water and wastes from the blood (wastes come from the normal breakdown of active muscle and from the food that you eat)
  • Convert the extra water and wastes from the blood to urine.
If your kidneys do not remove these wastes, they will build up in the blood and damage your body.
Narrow tubes called ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, which is an oval-shaped chamber in the lower abdomen (stomach). Like a balloon, the bladder's elastic walls stretch and expand to store urine and flatten back together when the urine is emptied through the urethra outside of the body.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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