Everything you need to know to prepare for your procedure or operation.

We’re always here to help.

Urology (Kidney & Urinary System) Surgery

The most common anaesthetic techniques and urology procedures are listed here.

Please feel free to ask any questions as your anaesthesia and surgical plan may vary.


For more detailed information ask your GP or Surgeon to refer you to a Specialist Anaesthetist.


This is usually a brief procedure where the surgeon looks inside the bladder. It may involve other minor procedures such as taking biopsies, cauterizing the surface of the bladder or stretching the bladder.


Fine catheters may be passed up to the kidneys from inside the bladder and x-rays taken, or stones removed if present. A general anaesthetic is usually given for a cystoscopy and is started with an intravenous cannula. An airway tube is inserted into your throat when you are asleep. This may leave an unpleasant feeling or taste in your throat for a short time after you wake up.


Spinal anaesthesia is sometimes also recommended by your anaesthetist.

Trans-Urethral Resection of the Prostate (“TURP”) - Males Only

This operation is done when the prostate has enlarged to the point where it makes it hard to pass urine and empty your bladder fully. Your anaesthetic may be either a general or spinal.


A spinal anaesthetic involves the injection of local anaesthetic into the back using a very fine needle. This temporarily numbs the body from the waist down and stops leg movements. The effect gradually wears off. There is no pain from the operation while the spinal anaesthetic is working.


The choice of using either general or spinal anaesthesia is made on the clinical grounds of age and overall health of the patient. There is also evidence that a spinal anaesthetic makes it easier to detect the onset of an uncommon but sometimes serious situation called water intoxication during TURP.


See the spinal page for more information.

Kidney or Ureter Stones

There are different surgical techniques to remove these stones depending on their location.


It is very important that the patient is very still during these procedures, so a general anaesthetic is usually performed.

Open and Radical Prostatectomy (Removal of the Prostate Gland)

These are operations that require lower abdominal incisions and are performed under general anaesthesia.

They can last for several hours.

Because of these issues, you should expect a longer recovery time after both the anaesthetic and surgery.


Your anaesthetist will also discuss special pain-relieving techniques that may be needed. The chances of needing a blood transfusion are higher with these operations.

Laparoscopic Nephrectomy (Kidney Removal)

This newer surgical technique produces more rapid recovery because a large incision is avoided.


It is still a major operation requiring a general anaesthetic and may last for several hours.