kidney stones

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KIDNEY STONES?

Symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Flank pain on the side of your mid-back

  • Pain radiating from the back to the front

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Blood in the urine

The pain occurs as the stone is passing down the urinary tract and causing an obstruction. This causes the kidney to swell and the pressure build-up is very painful as the urinary tract is trying to squeeze the stone through a narrow spot.

HOW IS A KIDNEY STONE DIAGNOSED?

A kidney X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan can be used to find a kidney stone. The stone will appear as a shadow or a density. Imaging studies will help determine which treatment is best to remove your stone.

IS IT NECESSARY TO REMOVE THE STONE?

If the stone is small or in the lower pole of the kidney, it may be possible to leave it alone and just monitor with regular x-rays for any changes. Sometimes if a stone is passing through with minimal pain, we will let it pass on its own, without surgery.

SURGICAL OPTIONS

Ureteroscopy

 

Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to address kidney stones. A small camera called a ureteroscope is passed through the bladder into the ureter where the stone is located.

ESWL (Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy)

 

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces that can more easily travel through the urinary tract and pass from the body. You lay on a water-filled cushion, and the surgeon uses X-rays to precisely locate the stone.