Kidney Stones Removal Treatment Questions and Answers
If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from kidney pain in Smithfield, NC, get yourself checked at Mohamed & Associates Urology Center. It might be a kidney stone issue. But don’t worry, our qualified urologist can provide comprehensive treatment. For more information, call us today or visit us online to book an appointment.
Kidney stones form when hard mineral and salt deposits build up in the kidneys, commonly from calcium or uric acid buildup. When they occur, they can cause intense pain and discomfort. If you think you may be dealing with kidney stones, our urologists at Mohamed & Associates can evaluate your symptoms and provide effective treatment options to you.
What procedure is used to remove kidney stones?
There are several different types of procedures that are used to remove kidney stones. The specific type of procedure in any given case depends on the size of the kidney stones, the patient’s medical condition, and other factors.
With that being said, large kidney stones or patients with numerous kidney stones may require surgical intervention to remove the stones. Open surgery, percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), and ureteroscopy are three surgical options for kidney stone removal. However, open surgery to remove kidney stones is performed less and less these days as more minimally invasive procedures prove effective at removing kidney stones.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is performed by a urologist, sometimes with the aid of a radiologist, and involves the insertion of a small tube through a small incision in the patient’s back (no larger than a dime), through which the stone will depart from the body. The urologist will use specialized tools to shatter the stone and either pluck or vacuum out the stone from the kidney. PCNL is an inpatient procedure using general anesthesia and typically requires an overnight stay at the hospital before the patient can be discharged.
Ureteroscopy is often performed with laser lithotripsy in which the urologist passes a ureteroscope through the urethra and bladder and up the ureters to locate and visualize the stone. Once the stones are located, a laser is used to disintegrate the stone into smaller pieces to be extracted or into dust particles that are eliminated through urination.
Can kidney stones be removed without surgery?
Small to medium kidney stones can be removed without surgery. Kidney stones that are exceptionally small may pass without any treatment all. However, for kidney stones that are small to medium in size, shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) is an option.
With shock wave lithotripsy, X-ray or ultrasound is used to locate the kidney stones. Once the stones are located, high-energy shock waves are aimed at the kidney to break apart and disintegrate the stones from the outside of the body. The stones are then easily passed through urination.
What can happen if a kidney stone is not removed?
If kidney stones are left untreated and do not pass on their own, they can disrupt ureter flow and narrow the ureters, which increases the risk of infection and may lead to urine build-up, placing increased strain on the kidneys. With that being said, the pain and discomfort caused by kidney stones make it rare for anyone to go without treatment if they have kidney stones. At the same time, it is important to seek medical attention if you think you are experiencing pain and discomfort from kidney stones to avoid kidney infection or increased strain on the kidneys.
How do I know when my kidney stone has passed?
If you have been experiencing a kidney stone and are unsure if it has passed or not, it may be a good idea to visit a urologist or your primary care doctor to confirm that the stone has passed. With that being said, you will likely feel less pain and discomfort after the stone has passed. At the same time, it is also normal to experience residual pain and soreness for a short time after the stone passes.
For more information about kidney stone removal and treatment options or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Mohamed & Associates Urology Center, please feel welcome to call us or book an appointment through our website! We serve patients from Smithfield NC, Selma NC, Clayton NC, Princeton NC, Whitley Heights NC, Four Oaks NC, Pine Level NC, and Kenly NC.