Kidney stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that stick together to form small stones. They can be as small as grains of sand or as large as golf balls. They may stay in your kidneys or travel out of your body through the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the system that makes urine and carries it out of your body.
If kidney stone does not get treated by non-surgical means then surgery may be needed. There are two types of surgery available:
Ureteroscopic stone removal: If your stone is lodged in the ureter, your surgeon will pass a narrow, flexible instrument called a cystoscope up through your urethra and your bladder. Your urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out through the penis/vulva. A laser beam or shock waves generated by a device attached at the end of the cystoscope removes or breaks up the stone. This procedure is usually done under a general anesthetic. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL): Large stones can be surgically removed from the kidney. Your surgeon makes a small cut in your back and uses a telescopic instrument called a nephroscope to pull the stone out or break it up using a laser beam or shock waves. PCNL is performed under general anesthesia.
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