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  • Cystolitholapaxy


    Cystolitholapaxy is a procedure to break up bladder stones into smaller pieces and remove them. Bladder stones are minerals that have built up in the bladder. Ultrasonic waves or lasers may be delivered through a tool called a cystoscope to break up the stones.
    Bladder Stone
    si1713 bladder stone
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    Reasons for Procedure

    This procedure is done to treat bladder stones.

    Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a cystolitholapaxy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
    • Urinary tract infection
    • Bladder tear or damage
    • Bleeding
    • Reaction to the anesthesia
    • Infection
    • Damage to internal tissue or structures
    Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

    What to Expect

    Prior to Procedure

    Your doctor may do the following:
    • Physical exam, blood and urine tests, and imaging tests
    • Talk with you about the type of anesthesia that will be used and the potential risks
    Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, including:
    • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Blood thinners, like warfarin (Coumadin)
    • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
    Other things to remember before the procedure:
    • Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
    • If instructed by your doctor, do not eat or drink for eight hours before the procedure.


    This procedure can be done under local, spinal , or general anesthesia. It will block any pain. Sedation may also be used to ease anxiety.
    With local anesthesia, a special jelly or fluid will be inserted into your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). This will numb the area. If you are having spinal anesthesia, it will be injected into your spine. General anesthesia will be given through an IV.

    Description of Procedure

    The doctor will place a tiny flexible probe, called a cystoscope, through your urethra toward the bladder. The probe has a camera for viewing. Imaging guidance, like ultrasound , will help the doctor locate the bladder stones. A saline solution may be flushed through the urinary tract. After a stone is located, the doctor will grab the stone and turn on the device to break it. To do this, different types of technology (eg, ultrasonic waves, lasers, or a mechanical device) can be used. A special basket or forceps will be used to grab the stone fragments and remove them.
    The bladder and surrounding structures will be examined. The doctor may place a stent in your urethra to help protect the lining while the fragments pass or to repair damage.

    Immediately After Procedure

    Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you may be able to move around after the procedure. You may still have a catheter inside your urethra.

    How Long Will It Take?

    This is usually done in an outpatient setting. You will not need to stay overnight. The procedure takes 30-60 minutes (or longer) depending on the size of the stones.

    How Much Will It Hurt?

    Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Ask your doctor about medicine to help with pain after the procedure.

    Post-procedure Care

    At the Care Center
    After the procedure, the hospital staff may provide the following care:
    • Monitor you while you recover from the anesthesia and/or sedation
    • Remove any IV needles and the catheter
    • Help you to eat and move around again
    • Give you pain medicine
    At Home
    When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
    • Take medicines as directed to reduce pain and the chance of infection.
    • Avoid difficult activity and heavy lifting.
    • Drink plenty of fluids (eg, 8-10 glasses per day).
    • Do not drive or have sex until your doctor says it is safe to do so.
    • Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

    Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
    • Increasing pressure or pain while passing urine
    • Pain in the back or abdomen
    • Not able to urinate
    • Changes in frequency, odor, appearance, or volume of urine
    • Signs of infection, including fever or chills
    • Blood or blood clots in urine after the first few days
    • Painful urination or a burning sensation after the first few days
    • Leaking urine
    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.


    American Urological Association Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org/

    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/


    Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org/

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Electrohydraulic lithotripsy. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated October 19, 2012. Accessed November 2, 2012.

    Ho KL, Segura J. Lower Urinary Tract Calculi: Cystolitholapaxy. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology . 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 84.

    Revision Information

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