In our “Ask KidneyStoners.org” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.
February 6, 2012
Question about having ureteroscopy on both kidneys at once
“I’m having a ureteroscopy next week to remove a stone stuck in my left ureter (although causing me no pain). My consultant says I also have stones in my right kidney, but appears reluctant to remove them for some reason, preferring them to “pop out on their own” (his words). Do you know why this is? Would you see any problem with having all the stones (in my left ureter and right kidney) being removed in the same operation? I would love to be stone-free after this one operation!”
Many studies have been performed that demonstrate the safety of operating on both kidneys at the same time. Despite this, I usually counsel patients that it is “best to have one kidney working well while the other is healing”. Any surgery carries risk; in the case of ureteroscopy the primary risk is an injury to the ureter.
What do do about your right kidney stones depends on the size and location of the stones. Typically I will recommend shockwave lithotripsy for stones larger than 4mm, but observation for stones smaller than 4mm as these would have a high likelihood of passing spontaneously.
Please note that this information is not intended to represent medical advice or professional opinion. Each patient’s case is unique and we recommend that all patients seek care with a local medical professional who can review the circumstances and details of their case.