Stones can form in the kidneys as a result of infection, dietary intake, drugs or malfunction. Stone sizes may vary from tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, to 3-4 inches in size. Stones can cause extraordinary pain felt as back or side pain, if they cause obstruction of the flow of urine. Stones can also cause recurrent urinary track infections and blood in the urine. Most stones are treated by outpatient Electrohydraulic Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) commonly known as the use of external ultrasound in order to pulverize the stone(s) into many small fragments that can pass without causing inordinate pain. This may sometime require the use of a temporary silicone stent that allows the painless passage of these fragments. Some stones may require the use of laser to break the stone in order to allow manual extraction of the fragments under anesthesia. Large stones may require a surgery that is done through a small incision in the back called Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL). Very rarely, stones may require open surgery to remove recalcitrant stones or to remove a defunctionalized kidney. Prevention of stones can be treated by certain drugs, dietary modification and increased water intake.
If you are diagnosed with Kidney stones, please schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to discuss the treatment option that is most appropriate for you.