The urinary tract
Diseases of the urinary tract encompass some of the most common benign and malignant conditions encountered in surgical practice. They present with a number of common symptoms and signs. A thorough history and examination followed by a logical approach to diagnostic imaging and other investigations will usually reveal the underlying pathology.
The causes of renal and ureteric pain are summarized in Table 20.1. The most important conditions are upper tract infection, stone disease, upper tract obstruction, and renal malignancy. Although the most common cause of ureteric colic is passage of a renal calculus, other diagnoses such as a sloughed renal papilla in diabetics and passage of clot in the presence of an upper tract urothelial tumour should be borne in mind.