Ureteroscopy for treatment of obstructing ureteral calculi in pregnant women: Single center experience
Objectives: To evaluate our experiences with ureteroscopic treatment of ureteral calculi in pregnancy.
Patients and methods: Between April 2006 and October 2013, 41 pregnant women with persistent renal colics and/or hematuria refractory to conservative measures were treated with ureteroscopy. The patients’ mean age was 23 (range 19–37) years. Most of the patients (56.1%) presented in the 2nd trimester. Loin pain and colic were the most common presenting symptoms (90.2%). Twenty-seven patients (65.9%) had an obstruction on the right side. All patients underwent ureteroscopy under epidural anesthesia.
Results: Ureteroscopy revealed the presence of ureteric stones in 36 of the 41 cases. The stone size ranged from 5 to 16 (mean 8.9) mm. Distal ureteric stones were found in 29 patients. The pneumatic lithoclast was used for stone fragmentation in 22 of them (75.9%), while the stone was directly extracted in 4 patients. In 3 patients the stone migrated proximally and was not accessible any more. Proximal ureteric stones were detected in 7 of the remaining 12 cases. When attempting to manipulate these stones, they migrated more proximally and became unreachable. In the last 5 patients the entire ureter was free of stones; they only had edema at the ureteric orifice. A long lasting JJ stent was left until the end of the pregnancy in all cases with migrated inaccessible stones. In all patients successfully treated, a JJ stent with dangle extraction strings was left for two weeks. Minor urologic complications were encountered in the form of mild dysuria in 12 cases (29.2%) and mild hematuria in 5 cases (12.2%). All patients completed their pregnancy until full term without any serious obstetric complications requiring intervention.
Conclusion: Ureteroscopy is a safe and effective therapeutic option for the treatment of obstructing ureteral stones in pregnancy with stone-free and complication rates comparable to the non-pregnant population.
Keywords: Stones; Ureteroscopy; Pregnancy