By Dr. Ashish Gupta, Urology
Kidney stones are extremely common. One of the latest and very effective modes of removing kidney stones is Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery. Since it is a minimally invasive surgery, not only is the recovery period short but the risk of contracting infections is also less.
This surgery is performed by a urologist under local, general or spinal anaesthesia. It is reserved especially for cases when-
• Medicines haven’t worked
• The stones are too large to be removed by lithotripsy
• There are tumours in the kidneys
• There are bleeding disorders
• The patient is obese
How is the surgery performed?
Your doctor will recommend a number of tests before surgery to ensure that you are fit enough to undergo the surgery.
During surgery, the urologist will pass a fiberoptic endoscope to the bladder through the urethra and from there to that place in the kidney where your urine collects. So the endoscope is actually moved in a retrograde way up into the kidney. To ensure that the device is inserted easily, the passage is dilated by passing a stent into it two weeks before the surgery. This actually speeds up the recovery procedure and causes less pain and discomfort after the surgery.
The urologist can see the insides of your kidneys and the stones through the endoscope. Using lasers, the urologist can blast the stones. The endoscope can be used to remove stones of a diameter up to 1.5 cm. The surgery takes around 4 hours.
A patient who has undergone Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery is usually discharged after three days. For the three days, she/he is kept under observation. Right after the surgery, the person is wheeled into the intensive care unit. A catheter will be attached to your bladder for a couple of days to minimize pain during urination. After discharge, the patient will be advised to stay in bed for at least two days and drink a lot of water to eliminate the possibilities of contracting infections.
Why is this surgery advantageous?
It is a simple and clean surgery and more effective than open surgery. There are no risks of excessive blood loss and tissue damage. Every stone can be removed which may not always be possible with open surgery. Recovery is quicker and the patient can resume her/his regular lifestyle in a few days.
Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery is an advanced procedure which uses laser technology and that makes it safe and painless.