Nephrologist – I am hoping by now, you would know this is a physician specializing in kidney diseases.

Urologist – a physician specializing in the genitourinary tract, which includes kidneys, urinary bladder and urethra of both men and women and the prostate and testes in men.

Cystoscopy – looking into the urinary bladder with a fiberoptic instrument.

Intravenous pyelogram – special X-rays showing the drainage pattern of the kidneys. A dye opaque to X-rays is injected into a vein. After a waiting period for the blood and dye to pass through the kidneys, X-rays can be taken of the collecting system of the kidney, ureter and bladder.

Retrograde pyelogram – personally, I prefer the former procedure! In this procedure a dye opaque to X-rays is flushed backwards up the urethra and bladder and up the ureters to the kidneys.

Voiding cystourethrogram – take this apart starting at the end of the word: an imaging technique (X-ray) displaying the urethra and bladder while urinating! How did the opaque dye get into the bladder? One guess then see retrograde pyelogram above.

Dialysis – a procedure for cleansing the blood of waste products in individuals with complete kidney failure or who have had kidneys removed by surgery. With the in-hospital procedure, the patient’s blood is circulated through a machine that removes waste products. The blood is recirculated back into the patient.

Lithotripsy – Crushing kidney stones with sound waves. Unlike cholelithotripsy (crushing of gallstones), which is no longer done, the sludge from crushing kidney stones has an easy direct pathway out of the body (down the ureter to the bladder and out the urethra). Nephrolithotripsy is an elective procedure that may spare a patient surgery.

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