Also known as: Transurethral cystolitholapaxy
Although bladder stones are less common than kidney stones, almost all people who develop them will require some type of surgery to remove them. Cystolitholapaxy is the most common procedure used to break up bladder stones into smaller pieces and remove them. Cystolitholapaxy is usually performed by a urologist in an outpatient setting.

How it is done
A tool called a cystoscope, a tiny flexible probe with a camera attached to the end, is inserted into the patients bladder. The cytoscope is then used to deliver ultrasonic waves or laser to break up the stones into tiny pieces. These small pieces can then be flushed from the bladder with fluids.

The surgeon may place a stent into the patient’s urethra to help protect the lining and allow the fragments to pass out of the body.

Complications from cystolitholapaxy are rare, but no procedure is without risk. Possible risks include those associated with any type of major surgery such as bleeding, blood clots, infection and problems with anesthesia. Additional risks include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Bladder tear or damage
  • Damage to internal tissue or structures

Next steps
Bladder stones occur most often in men and are usually the result of another urologic problem. It is necessary to identify and treat the underlying cause to avoid new bladder stones forming.

Common underlying conditions include:

  • Bladder diverticulum
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Cystocele

Learn more
Learn more about your health by visiting our online health education library.

Read about Providence Urology Services or find a urologist near you.