Endourology is a specialist section of urology, which involves using minimally invasive surgical techniques that are used to investigate and diagnose conditions that affect the urinary tract. Endourology procedures are performed using small endoscopes and instrumentation such as lasers, graspers, cautery and retrieval baskets; all of which can be performed without making any large incision.
Due to the fact, the procedure is being performed using minimally invasive equipment, an endourology procedure is different from more traditional urology procedures. Some of the advantages include:
- Excellent success rate
- No incisions
- Patients experience less pain after the surgery
- Less risk of post-operative complications such as infection
- Quicker recovery and return to everyday activities
Endourology involves the use of endoscopes to treat kidney stones. The lasers used to break up stones and other instruments used to retrieve the fragments of stones from the bladder, ureter and kidney are delivered via these small telescopes.
Some of the different types of endourological procedures include:
- Urethroscopy – A ureteroscope is passed through the urethra and bladder and directly into the upper urinary tract. It is able to remove and break up stones and assess and treat suspicious-looking lesions within the ureter.
- Cystoscopy – is a powerful thin camera called a cystoscope. It is used to see inside the bladder via the urethra. The cystoscope is hollow which allows small instruments to passed down to treat any bladder problems.
- Ureteroscopy – A ureteroscope is passed through the urethra and bladder and directly into the urinary tract. It is able to remove and break up stones and other suspicious-looking fragments that is blocking the ureter. This can also be part of shock wave lithotripsy, a treatment required to break up kidney stones.
- Nephroscopy – this is a non-surgical procedure that allows doctors to examine the inside of the kidneys. A nephoscope is a thin flexible tube that is able to treat kidney stones and other conditions in the kidneys such as tumours and issues with the upper urinary tract.
- Renoscopy– this is an endoscopic assessment of the internal lining of the kidney (“the collecting system”). A nephoscope is a thin flexible tube that is able to treat kidney stones and other conditions in the kidneys such as tumours and other issues within the kidney.
Your consultant will be able to talk you through what type of surgical procedure you will need and if you will specifically benefit from endourology techniques.