Kidney stones procedures can provide quick relief for patients.
Kidney stones are mineral deposits that build in the kidneys, occurring because there are too many minerals in the body that can’t be removed in the urine. Sometimes, kidney stones can be passed without any issues.
If the stones are too large to pass on their own, there are a few treatment options available.
The doctor will use a scope to look inside the ureter and bladder to see if there are any signs that kidney stones are present. This is often considered a diagnostic exam before further treatments begin. The exam can also be performed if you or your doctor suspect that there could be kidney stones that have moved from the kidneys and have become stuck in the ureter.
This is a surgery that involves going through the skin to remove larger stones in the kidneys or stones that have an irregular shape and can’t be passed through the urine or with other types of treatments. The surgery is also performed on patients who have an infection or who are at a higher risk of developing an infection from kidney stones. A small incision is made in the back to enter the kidneys to remove the stones as well as any debris left behind by the stones. Patients may have to stay in the hospital for a day or two after the procedure.
A laser is used during this procedure to break up the stones present in the kidneys so that they are small enough to pass through the ureter. This is an option for those who have larger stones but don’t require surgery to remove them. There could be a burning sensation while urinating as the smaller stones are passed. It could take a few days for all of the stones to pass through the body.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
This procedure is similar to one involving a laser but uses shock waves to break the stones into smaller pieces instead. While laying on a cushion filled with water, the doctor will use an X-ray to view the stones. Sound waves are then used to break the stones into pieces that are small enough to get through the ureter when you urinate.
Drinking water throughout the day can help to keep the kidneys flushed of excess minerals and can help to move kidney stones through the urinary system. An antibiotic is sometimes given after kidney stone treatments to prevent or get rid of an infection, as well as a pain reliever.