Cynthia M. Johnson
An open ureterolithotomy is a surgery to remove stones from the ureter.
The ureter is a tube between the kidney and the bladder. Urine passes down to the bladder through this tube.
Ureterolithotomy is used to remove stones in a ureter that:
Problems from this surgery are rare, but all surgeries have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems. Complications associated with any surgery include:
Complications associated with ureterolithotomy include:
Smoking may increase your risk of complications.
Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep. It is given through a vein in the arm or hand.
An incision will be made in your side or abdomen. The incision location will depend on exactly where the stone is. Both muscle and skin will need to be cut to expose the ureter. The stone will be located in the ureter. An incision will be made in the ureter just above the stone. The stone will then be removed. A stent may be placed in the ureter. This is a device to help keep the ureter open. The ureter will then be sewn shut with stitches. The muscles and skin will then be sewn shut with stitches or staples. A tube may be placed in the wound. It will help drain out any extra fluids while the wound heals.
The stone may be sent to a laboratory for testing.
After the operation, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation. X-rays may be taken to make sure the stone was completely removed.
About 60-90 minutes
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Your doctor will give you medicine to help manage pain during recovery.
You may need to stay in the hospital for about three to four days. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.
It can take four to six weeks to fully recover from this procedure. When you return home, take these steps:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
National Kidney Foundation
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Kidney stones in adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at:
http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/stonesadults/index.aspx#treatment. Updated June 29, 2012. Accessed January 15, 2013.
Skrepetis K, Doumas K, et al. Laparoscopic versus open ureterolithotomy. A comparative study.
Eur Urol. 2001;40(1):32-6.
Ureterolithotomy—dormia basket. Netdoctor website. Available at:
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/surgical-procedures/ureterolithotomy-dormia-basket.htm. Updated June 7, 2009. Accessed January 15, 2013.
Ureterolithotomy (open) consent form. Queensland Government website. Available at:
http://www.health.qld.gov.au/consent/documents/urology_21.pdf. Published March 2011. Accessed January 15, 2013.
Ureterolithotomy (removal of ureteric stone). The Pennine Acute Hospitals website. Available at:
http://www.pat.nhs.uk/CubeCore/.uploads/Media%20Library/Abdomen/Urology/20120711_288%20Ureterolithotomy.pdf. Accessed January 15, 2013.
Patient Information: Open removal of stone from ureter. Addenbrooke’s Hospital NHS website. Available at:
http://www.camurology.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ureterolithotomy-44.pdf. Accessed January 23, 2013.
Last reviewed June 2013 by
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