Kidney and Ureteral Stone Prevention and Treatment
Each year, nearly one million Americans are treated for kidney stones. Kidney stones form when chemicals in the urine crystallize and stick together. Small kidney stones may pass easily through the urinary tract. Larger stones, however, may get lodged in the urinary tract and block urine flow. Stones may also have rough edges and cause extreme discomfort.
Some people may not experience any symptoms from kidney stones. However, potential symptoms may include:
- Severe pain in the kidneys, lower abdomen or groin. Pain may last for minutes or hours, followed by periods of relief
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever, chills and weakness
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Blood in the urine
- Irregular flow of urine
Make sure to tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
UK HealthCare Urological Surgery physicians have special expertise in lithotripsy, a nonsurgical method for treating kidney stones. High-energy ultrasonic or shock waves are sent through the body, breaking the kidney stones into small pieces that can pass through the urinary tract.
Percutaneous stone removal is also a treatment option. A small incision is made in the patient's back and a narrow tunnel is made through the skin to the stone inside the kidney. Using an instrument called a nephroscope, the physician removes the stone and its fragments through this tunnel. Metabolic management of stone disease can also be used to treat stones.
UK HealthCare specialists may recommend changes to diet or liquid intake, or medicine to prevent more kidney and ureteral stones from forming.