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RIRS stands for Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery which is a minimally invasive procedure to perform surgery inside the kidney using a viewing tube called a fiberoptic endoscope. In RIRS the scope is placed through the urethra (the beginning of urination) into the bladder and then through the urethra into the urine collecting part of the kidney.

RIRS is a type of endoscopic surgery. which allows the kidneys to enrich through the ureter. A flexible ureteroscope is used for this type of procedure. This device uses laser fiber to treat stones. After that, the small pieces can be removed from the basket.

European urological guidelines consider RIRS and ESWL the treatments of choice for renal stones < 20 mm.After that, the small pieces can be removed from the basket. In some cases, according to intraoperative findings, a renal stent can be pushed into the kidney to aid in renal drainage.

ESWL is a procedure that allows the treatment of stones by shock waves generated by a specific machine that works in direct contact with the patients skin (extracorporeal). Shockwaves pass through all tissues and eventually reach the stones. Such energy can break stones into small pieces, which will be passed spontaneously by patients.

The specific parameters of these treatments are discussed in "Arms and Interventions." Many studies have shown a high success rate of RIRS and this technique is being adopted more and more. One study showed better results of RIRS versus ESWL, but only for kidney stones that were located inferiorly and were smaller than 10 mm. There are no other studies comparing the two procedures and there is no evidence that RIRS guarantees better results for other renal stones (neither for size nor for location).