Glossary

Kidney and Ureteral Stones

Ablation therapy

A type of minimally-invasive procedure to remove abnormal tissue. The doctor destroys the abnormal tissue using heat (radiofrequency ablation) or extreme cold (cryoablation).

Active treatment

Procedures to remove a kidney or ureteral stone.

Anaesthesia (general, spinal, or local)

Before a procedure you will get medication to make sure that you don’t feel pain. Under general anaesthesia you are unconscious and unaware of what is happening to you. Under spinal or local anaesthesia you will not feel pain in the part of your body where the procedure is done. Anaesthesia wears off gradually after the procedure.

Asymptomatic stones

Stones that do not cause any symptoms. They are usually found during imaging tests done for another condition.

Bladder

Organ which collects urine from the kidneys.

Calculi

Stones.

Catheter

A hollow flexible tube to insert or drain fluids from the body. In urology, catheters are generally used to drain urine from the bladder.

Conservative treatment

Monitoring the progress of the stone disease or treatment with medication to ease the natural passing of stones.

Contraindications

Any symptoms or conditions that make a certain treatment option undesirable.

CT scan

CT stands for Computed Tomography. It is an imaging technique that makes a series of x-ray images of the body.

Decompression

Relieving pressure in the kidneys. A nephrostomy tube is placed directly in the kidney through the skin so that urine can leave the body.

Diagnosis

The doctor and nurses do a series of tests to understand what causes your symptoms.

Endoscope

A tube-like instrument to examine the inside of the body. Can be flexible or rigid.

Fragments

Pieces of the stone broken during a procedure.

Imaging

Taking images of the body with ultrasound, x-ray or other scanning techniques.

Intravenous urography

An imaging technique where x-ray contrast agent is injected into the vein, usually in the arm.

JJ-stent

A tube that is temporarily placed in the ureter to make sure urine can flow from the kidney to the bladder.

Kidneys

Two bean-shaped organs in the back of the abdomen that filter the blood and produce urine.

Medical Expulsive Therapy (MET)

Medication that makes the natural passing of stones easier and less painful.

Metabolic evaluation

Series of blood and urine tests for patients who have a high risk of forming stones.

Nephrostomy tube

A tube placed directly into the kidney through the skin. This allows the urine to leave the body.

Non-contrast-enhanced CT

Type of CT scan with low radiation exposure.

NSAIDs

A group of medicines used to relieve pain. It is often used to relieve renal colic.

Oxalate

A component found in many kinds of food which may be related to forming kidney or ureteral stones.

Percutaneous

Through the skin.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL)

Treatment option to remove stones directly from the kidney by placing a tube through the skin.

PH-value

A measure between 0.0 and 14.0 to describe if a fluid is acidic or alkaline. pH values close to 7.0 are neutral, anything above is alkaline, anything below is acidic.

Renal

Related to the kidneys.

Shock-wave lithotripsy (SWL)

Treatment option to break stones into smaller pieces using high energy sound waves. Stone fragments pass with urine after the procedure.

Ultrasonography

Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sounds to make an image of the inside of the body (ultrasound).

Ureter

One of the two tubes through which urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder.

Ureteroscopy (URS)

Treatment option to remove kidney or ureteral stones. A ureteroscope is inserted into the urinary tract via the urethra to pull out the stone.

Urethra

The tube which carries urine from the bladder and out of the body.

Uric acid

A chemical that is created when the body breaks down substances called purines.

Urinary tract

The organ system which produces and transports urine through and out of the body. It includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra. The urinary tract is similar in men and women, only men have a longer urethra.

Urolithiasis

Stone disease.

Urologist

A doctor specialized in health and diseases of the urinary tract and the genitals.

Vulva

The female external genitals.