What is Endourology?
Endourology is the collective term used to denote the large number of medical and surgical procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose and treat the formation of calculi stones in the kidney. These procedures are performed by an endourologist, who are specially trained in managing the treatment and care for the various complications arising out of a kidney stone.
The endourology procedures are performed using minimally invasive surgical method with the help of an endoscope. An endoscope is a system of small and thin flexible surgical tubes. One of these tubes is attached with a cold light-source and a high definition video camera at one end, while other similar tubes are attached with specialized surgical instruments.
These are least invasive surgical techniques that use the person’s natural body channels, such as the urethra, bladder and the ureter, to insert the specialized surgical instruments for removing the stones from the kidney.
Endourology techniques also help significantly in determining the cause of the development of the stone in the kidney as well as identifying all possible preventive methods. The endourologist will use specialized instruments such as graspers, miniature stone retrieval baskets, special scalpels, lasers and other similar advanced instruments to break the kidney stone (fragment) and to remove it as well. This surgery aims to perform the procedure of stone removal without the need for incisions on the skin.
A large number of endourology procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and the person is able to recover faster and resume normal daily activities sooner as compared to conventional kidney stone removal procedure.
What are the types of Endourology procedures?
There are several types of endourology procedures, such as:
- Urethroscopy – This is used to treat blockages (strictures) in the urethra.
- Cystoscopy – This surgery is used to treat bladder stones and cancers (tumors). Also useful in removing obstructive prostate tissue, stents are used to divert from the blockage in the urethra.
- Ureteroscopy – This treatment method is used for tumors and stones in the ureter.
- Nephroscopy – This is useful in treating tumors and stones in the linings of the kidney.
Who is an ideal candidate for Endourology procedures?
An ideal candidate is ultimately decided by the endourologist after a detailed examination. The endourologist will take into consideration various factors, such as the patient’s medical history as well as the specific nature of the disease.
What are the different Endourology procedures?
These are some of the major endourology procedure that are performed commonly today:
Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
This is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to disintegrate (break) the stone into smaller (minute) pieces with the use of shock waves using a device called a Lithotripter. After calibrating the device as required the endourologist will target the stone and the shock waves are focused onto it. These shock waves pass effortlessly through the softer tissue of the body (such as skin, abdominal wall muscles, kidneys, etc) and create maximum effect at the targeted site of the stone. The vibration caused in the stone’s structure causes it to crack and swiftly disintegrate.
The small stone fragments are then able to pass out of the body through the normal channels (urine). This procedure is ideal for treating smaller-sized stones. The success rate of this treatment method largely depends on the composition of the stone as well as the specific location of the stone within the urinary system.
The ureters are small conduits that transport urine from the kidney to the bladder. These are normally very small in diameter and may become dilated (widened) if obstructed. Ureteroscopes are specialized instruments used to perform surgical procedures within these tiny structures. In some cases, the ureteroscope may also be used to travel the length of the ureter in order to perform a surgical procedure inside the kidney.
Ureteroscopy is mostly used to treat:
- Stones that have not disintegrated sufficiently to pass through the urinary tract without causing pain and discomfort after an extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy method.
- Stones that are lodged nearest to the bladder in the ureter, where shock wave lithotripsy is not possible for disintegrating the stone.
- Stones which are located in the lower portion of the kidney, which will not be able to pass through the urinary tract even after being disintegrated due to the structure of the kidney.
The endourologist may use a plethora of devices and instruments to perform this procedure, such as lasers, miniaturized jackhammers, and other similar tools. Miniature stone baskets are used for removal of the stone fragments. Sometimes, after a ureteroscope surgery the ureter might swell as a reaction to the procedure, in this case the endourologist will fix a stent (hollow pipe) in the ureter for several days until the swelling subsides, this helps to prevent ureter blockage after the surgery.
Why choose Travcure for Endourology Treatment in India?
India is home to the world’s largest network of global-quality healthcare facilities. This comprehensive healthcare network is spread over all Indian major cities, such as Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, etc for added convenience while travelling from abroad for treatment. Travcure is well-connected to this vast network and offers every patient with a truly bespoke endourology treatment package offering the best and most effective treatment at the most affordable cost to the patient.