Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery (RIRS)
RIRS is performed to remove stones without making any incisions on the kidney while using a laser and a viewing tube called a fiberoptic endoscope that goes through the urethra into the kidney. It is performed under general, local or spinal anesthesia. This procedure requires a specialized urologist who is specifically trained in RIRS.
To perform this procedure, the scope is placed through the urethra, into the ureter and finally into the urine-collecting part of the kidney. The scope is therefore moved retrograde, i.e. up the urinary tract system to within the kidney, i.e. intrarenal. Once the scope is in place, the doctor can see the stone and can proceed to manipulate or crush it by an ultrasound probe or be evaporated by a laser probe or even grabbed by small forceps.
There are several advantages of opting for RIRS over open surgery like achieving quicker resolution of problems, elimination of prolonged post-surgery pain and a much faster recovery period.
RIRS is a minimally invasive urology procedure that is generally used in cases that are otherwise difficult to treat, such as:
- Failed attempts at treatment
- Kidney stones too large for treatment by lithotripsy
- Strictures in the kidney
- Tumors in the kidney
- Kidney stones among children
- Bleeding disorders in the kidneys
- Grossly obese patients