Kidney stones are one of the most common urological problems in the United States and are also known as Renal Calculi. Approximately 1 in 11 people in the U.S. are affected by kidney stones. The stones grow slowly in the affected patients (over several years) and do not usually cause pain until they move or obstruct the kidney.
When a typical small stone moves into the ureter, (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder), this is termed “passing a stone” and it can cause tremendous pain, nausea and vomiting. With medical treatment more than half of these stones will pass on their own, usually within 1 to 2 weeks.
However, stones that become lodged in the ureter or larger stones may require surgical removal. That is why all of our urologists are specially trained in advanced management of kidney stones.
Our urologists are highly-experienced and up to date on the latest procedures and technology. Together they perform thousands of kidney stone procedures per year. This includes ESWL, Ureteroscopy and percutaneous stone removal.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy®
The most common treatment for kidney stones is known by different names, such as: laser treatment of kidney stones, Shock Wave Lithotripsy or Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy ®.
ESWL is a non-invasive method of treatment that crushes the stone into “stone dust” or smaller fragments that are easier to pass. Shock wave therapy uses high energy sound waves to crush the stone inside your body.
This treatment works better with some stones than others. ESWL works best with kidney stones between 4-20 mm in diameter which are located in the kidney. ESWL cannot treat very large stones. Other considerations in determining treatment type include: the shape of the stone, where it is lodged in your urinary tract, your health and your kidney’s health.
Shock wave lithotripsy is not for everyone. Please talk to your urologist to determine if this treatment will work for your situation.
Ureteroscopy or URS is a type of surgery to treat kidney stones. This procedure is used to examine the inside of the urinary tract. The doctor inserts a small flexible scope into the bladder and then beyond to look at the ureters. Once the doctor can see the stone it can be removed or the doctor may use a laser beam to break the stone into smaller pieces. How and what the doctor will do is determined by the location, size and composition of the stone.
Percutaneous Nephrolithrotripsy (PCNL) is also known as percutaneous stone removal through the kidney. This type procedure is used for patient that have large or irregularly shaped kidney stones, people with infections or stones not broken up enough from ESWL, or those who are not a candidate for other common stone treatments. This procedure involves entering the kidney through a small incision in the back.
Once the acute stone episode has been resolved, either by spontaneous stone passage or by surgery we will work with you to help prevent future kidney stones. We use specific stone analysis test, blood and urine tests to guide treatment and give information to help prevent future stones. People who have had a kidney stone have a chance of having another one, so prevention measures are important.
To schedule an appointment to see one our board-certified urologists or to learn more about these procedures please contact us at 937-293-1622.
At Dayton Physicians, we’re here for you.