Cystolithotomy is the removal of stones from the bladder. Stones form in the bladder for a variety of reasons. In men, the most common cause is bladder outflow obstruction from an enlarged prostate.

The indications to perform a laparoscopic cystolithotomy are:

  • Multiple or large volume bladder stones (greater than 3 cm)
  • Bladder stones associated with any bladder or prostate disease requiring joint surgical treatment such as bladder diverticulum removal or prostatectomy
  • Bladder stones that could not be extracted by endoscopic surgery by the urethra

Benefits of doing a laparoscopic cystolithotomy

When removing stones from the bladder, irritating urinary symptoms such as pain and burning affecting the patient are eliminated.

When performed by laparoscopy, this surgery offers rapid recovery and little pain after surgery.

Risks and complications

Possible complications that can arise when performing a laparoscopic cystolithotomy are the same that can occur in general with any surgical procedure and are hemorrhage, damage to nearby organs, reactions to anesthesia, etc. However, these complications occur infrequently and most of the time they can be resolved during the same surgery.

The risk of conversion to open surgery is low (<5%), this may be due to difficulties in the dissection or hemorrhage and is done to maintain patient safety.

Alternatives to laparoscopic cystolithotomy

Other options for removing the stones from the bladder are: open surgery or laser endoscopic fragmentation.

What to expect from a laparoscopic cystolithotomy?

Day of surgery:

You will arrive at the hospital the same day of surgery on an empty stomach.

The surgery takes approximately 2 to 3 hours; however, the time is variable.

Anesthesia for this procedure is general, so you will be asleep during surgery.

Pain after laparoscopic cystolithotomy is minimal and can be effectively controlled with intravenous analgesics.

Food: you can eat in the afternoon after the surgery, there are no dietary restrictions, however, a balanced diet is recommended.

Physical activity: you can walk the same day after surgery. It is normal to feel a little tired after any surgery, that problem resolves spontaneously a few weeks after laparoscopic cystolithotomy.

Hospital stay: most patients undergoing laparoscopic cystolithotomy remain hospitalized for 2 to 3 days.

Wounds: Laparoscopic cystolithotomy requires 3 small incisions in the lower abdomen (each 1 cm or less), once they are completely healed, these scars can rarely be seen.