We take stones out for two reasons - they hurt and they can obstruct the urinary system, especially in males.
Before surgery, we do a physical exam and blood work. When we have patients undergoing anesthesia, we - of course - want it to be as safe as possible.
The day of surgery, the pet is fasted. He or she is sedated and anesthetized. An IV catheter is in and anesthesia monitoring equipment is hooked up.
The pet is placed on their back on the surgery table in the surgery room. Lights are aimed at their belly.
Warning! Here is the gross/cool part...An incision is made into the abdomen and the urinary bladder. The stones are scooped out - I am not making this up - with a tiny measuring spoon. We have three. They say "smidge," "sprinkle" and "pinch." I use the "smidge" spoon, the smallest one.
The bladder incision and the abdominal wall incision are sewn back up and x-rays are taken to make sure all of the stones are out. The stones are sent to a lab for analysis.
And the pet lives happily ever after, hopefully forever stone free.