At the International Kidney Stone Institute, our goal is nothing less than the cure.

Definition of Terms and Description of Procedures


Most patients have two! The kidneys filter wastes and fluid from the body, making urine.


There is usually one ureter per kidney. The ureter is a tube that transports urine from the kidney to the bladder, where it is stored until expulsion through urination.


Urine enters the bladder from the ureters and stores the urine until urination.


The urethra carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, either through the penis in men, or through an outlet near the vagina in women.


The condition resulting from the back up of urine in the kidney. This occurs when a stone or a narrowed area is blocking the flow of urine. It is sometimes associated with pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, or infection.


A thin, hollow tube placed in the ureter during surgery to insure drainage from the kidney into the bladder. Side effects can include feelings of pain, pressure and a frequent need to urinate. Medication can help reduce these symptoms.

Foley Catheter

A tube placed in the urethra to drain urine from the bladder.


An opening through the skin of the back into the kidney. There may be a tube and/or bag draining urine from the kidney.


The process of looking into the bladder through the urethra. Using a small camera and light, your surgeon can inspect the bladder and remove stones and some bladder tumors.


The process of looking into the ureter and kidney through the bladder. No incision is required. It is can be used to inspect the ureter and kidney, and to remove stones or enlarge narrowed areas.


The process of breaking stones into tiny pieces so that they can exit the body. This can be accomplished with shock wave, ultrasound or with a laser.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PERC or PCNL)

The process of removing stones through a small incision in the back.