Definition of Retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS)
Retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS): Retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS) is a procedure for doing surgery within the kidney using a viewing tube called a fiberoptic endoscope.
In RIRS the scope is placed through the urethra (the urinary opening) into the bladder and then through the ureter into the urine-collecting part of the kidney. The scope thus is moved retrograde (up the urinary tract system) to a position within the kidney (intrarenal).
RIRS may be done to remove a stone. The stone is seen through the scope and can then be manipulated or crushed by an ultrasound probe or evaporated by a laser probe or grabbed by small forceps, etc.
RIRS is performed by a specialist, a urologist (endourologist) with special expertise in RIRS. The procedure is usually done under general or spinal anesthesia.
The advantages of RIRS over open surgery include a quicker solution of the problem, the elimination of prolonged pain after surgery, and much faster recovery.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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