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- By Dr Vikas Singh,
M.B.B.S., M.S., M.Ch.
Urologist, Genito Uro Oncologist and Kidney Transplant Surgeon,
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore.

What is RIRS surgery?

RIRS (Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat kidney stones. It involves the use of a small flexible scope, known as a ureteroscope, to reach and remove the stones from the kidney.


Who is a candidate for RIRS surgery?

RIRS surgery is typically recommended for patients with kidney stones that are too large to pass on their own or with medication, and those who do not wish to undergo more invasive surgical procedures such as open surgery or percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). Your urologist will determine if you are a good candidate for RIRS surgery after performing a thorough evaluation of your medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic imaging studies.

How is RIRS surgery performed?

During RIRS surgery, a flexible ureteroscope is inserted through the urethra and passed through the bladder and up into the ureter. Once the scope reaches the kidney, a laser fiber is used to break up the kidney stones into smaller fragments. These fragments are then removed using a small basket or suction device that is inserted through the scope.

Is RIRS surgery painful?

Most patients report minimal discomfort during and after RIRS surgery. However, some patients may experience mild to moderate pain or discomfort after the procedure, which can be managed with pain medication.


What are the benefits of RIRS surgery?

RIRS surgery offers several benefits over more invasive surgical procedures such as open surgery or PCNL, including:

  • Less pain and discomfort

  • Shorter recovery time

  • Fewer complications

  • Minimal scarring

  • Quicker return to normal activities


What are the risks of RIRS surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, RIRS surgery carries some risks. These include:

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Urinary tract injury

  • Ureteral perforation

  • Residual stone fragments

Your urologist will discuss these risks with you and provide you with information on how to minimize your risk of complications.


How long does RIRS surgery take?

The length of the RIRS procedure depends on the size and location of the kidney stones being treated. Generally, the procedure takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.


Do I need to stay in the hospital after RIRS surgery?

Most patients can go home the same day as their RIRS surgery. However, some patients may need to stay in the hospital overnight if they experience any complications or if the procedure is particularly complex.

What is the recovery like after RIRS surgery?

Most patients can resume their normal activities within a few days of RIRS surgery. However, it is important to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least a week after the procedure. Your urologist will provide you with specific postoperative instructions based on your individual needs.


How effective is RIRS surgery for treating kidney stones?

RIRS surgery has a high success rate for treating kidney stones. In most cases, the procedure is able to completely remove the stones from the kidney. However, in some cases, small stone fragments may be left behind and require additional treatment.


Are there any dietary or lifestyle changes I need to make after RIRS surgery?

Your urologist may recommend dietary or lifestyle changes to help prevent the formation of new kidney stones after RIRS surgery. These may include drinking plenty of water, reducing your salt intake, and avoiding foods that are high in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, and chocolate.


What should I do if I experience complications after RIRS surgery?

If you experience any complications after RIRS surgery, such as fever, severe pain, or difficulty urinating, you should contact your urologist immediately. In most cases, these complications can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment

Flexible nephroscope used by Urologist for RIRS procedures
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