Bladder stones are hard lumps of minerals that can form inside the bladder when it’s not completely empty of urine. They may not cause any symptoms if they’re small enough to be passed out of the bladder when you pee. But that is not the case always, many a times these stones irritate the wall of the bladder or block the flow of urine. A transurethral cystolitholapaxy is the most common procedure used to treat adults with bladder stones. The surgeon inserts a small, rigid tube with a camera at the end (a cystoscope) into your urethra and up into your bladder. The camera is used to help locate the bladder stones. A crushing device, lasers or ultrasound waves transmitted from the cystoscope is used to break up the stones into smaller fragments, which can be washed out of your bladder with fluids. A transurethral cystolitholapaxy is carried out under either a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic, depending on the situation so you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure. There’s a risk of developing an infection during the procedure, so you may be given antibiotics as a precaution. There’s also a small risk of injury to the bladder.
Percutaneous Suprapubic Cystolitholapaxy
A percutaneous suprapubic cystolitholapaxy is mainly used to treat children to avoid damaging their urethra. It’s also sometimes used for adults with large bladder stones. Instead of inserting a tube into the urethra, the surgeon makes a small cut in the skin of the lower abdomen. Another cut is then made in the bladder so the stones can be removed. This will be done using a general anaesthetic.
An open cystostomy is often used to remove bladder stones in men with a very large prostate, or if the stone itself is very large. It’s a similar procedure to percutaneous suprapubic cystolitholapaxy, except the surgeon makes a much larger cut in the abdomen and bladder. It may be combined with other types of surgery, such as removing some or all of the prostate or bladder diverticula (pouches that develop in the lining of the bladder). The disadvantage of an open cystostomy is that it causes more pain afterwards and has a longer recovery time than the other types of surgery. But an open cystostomy will be needed if the bladder stone is large.