Medical Definition of Kidney scoping

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kidney scoping: A procedure for doing surgery within the kidney using a flexible ureteroscope (fiberoptic viewing tube).

Formally known as retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS). In RIRS, a ureteroscope 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 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, evaporated by a laser probe, or grabbed by small forceps.

RIRS is performed by a specialist, a urologist (endourologist) with special expertise in RIRS. The procedure is usually done under general or spinal anesthesia.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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