The basic principle of lithotripsy is to break the stones into smaller sizes so as to facilitate their easy passage through the urinary tract. The stones are exposed to ultrasonic or shock waves which consequently break down the stones into smaller sand like grains which then passes easily through the urinary tract. The advantage of this method is that it does not cause any damage to the surrounding tissues.
Ureterorenoscopy is where the kidney stones are removed mechanically using an endoscope that can be passed through the normal urinary passage without an incision. A thin telescope called ureteroscope is passed through the urethra into the bladder, through to the ureter or to the kidneys where the stone is stuck .The stones are broken down into smaller pieces using lithotripsy. An ureteroscope combined with intracorporeal laser technology is used for ureterenoscopic lithotripsy and eliminates the need for a surgery. This is performed under general anesthetic and sometimes a plastic tube called a stent is inserted temporarily to facilitate the movement of the stone particles into the bladder. This is most effective for stones having size of the order 15 mm. Minor complications are common but can be cured with the help of common antibiotics within no time