What Are the Methods of Kidney Stone Surgery?
A kidney stone or stones can cause pain in your back or side, blood in your urine, and nausea or vomiting. Although most kidney stones pass on their own, your doctor may advise surgery if you have stones stuck in the ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, or if the stones are obstructing urine flow. The type of stone, its intensity, and the amount of time you have experienced symptoms all determine treatment. There are different methods for kidney stone removal. It is essential that you consult with our expert urologist, Dr. Adel W. Mohamed to determine what is best for you. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 507 N Brightleaf Blvd #205, Smithfield, NC 27577.
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The removal of kidney stones, medically referred to as nephrolithiasis, can be approached through a variety of different methods. These include:
● Shock wave lithotripsy – This non-invasive technique uses high-energy shock waves to break larger stones into smaller fragments. The process makes it easier to pass the stones naturally through urine. Shock wave lithotripsy is particularly effective for stones in the kidney or upper ureter.
● Ureteroscopy – This technique uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera, called the ureteroscope, to access the kidney stone directly through the ureter. A surgeon can then remove or break the stone by using laser or ultrasound energy. This method is specifically effective for stones in the lower and middle ureter.
● Percutaneous nephrolithotomy – In cases of larger or more complex stones, this procedure is often recommended. First, a small incision is created in the back to access the kidney. Next, a nephroscope is used to remove or break the stone into smaller pieces.
● Open surgery – While less common today due to the availability of minimally invasive options, open surgery may be necessary for exceptionally large or complicated stones that cannot be addressed through other methods. However, this procedure typically involves larger incisions and longer recovery times.
The choice of approach depends on factors like stone size, location, patient health, and the surgeon’s recommendations. Additionally, certain medications can help dissolve smaller stones or manage pain and discomfort while waiting for the stones to pass naturally.
The safest method for kidney stone removal primarily depends on the specific characteristics of the stone. Minimally invasive procedures, such as shock wave lithotripsy and ureteroscopy, are considered safer than traditional open surgery.
For example, shock wave lithotripsy is a non-invasive approach that targets shock waves to break up kidney stones. The method is generally safe and has a low risk of complications. However, it may not be practical for larger stones, and there’s a possibility of needing repeat treatments.
Alternatively, ureteroscopy is a slightly more invasive procedure that’s best for stones located in the lower and middle ureter. Complications from this approach are rare, but they can include infection, bleeding, and injury to the ureter.
While more invasive than both shock wave lithotripsy and ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy is also a safe and effective solution for larger stones. In this procedure, a small incision is made on the back to access the kidney. As with most surgical procedures, complications such as bleeding and infection are possible, though their occurrence is relatively rare.
Overall, the safest approach for you will be determined by the urologist, who will take into account various factors, such as stone size, location, your health, and treatment preferences. In most cases, minimally invasive techniques are preferred as they offer a balance between safety and effectiveness, while also removing the risks associated with open surgery.
When speed is a high-priority factor, such as in cases of severe pain or infection risk, shock wave lithotripsy is performed to dissolve the kidney stone. This method is one of the fastest solutions for removing smaller kidney stones. Shock wave lithotripsy is an outpatient procedure that typically takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Additionally, ureteroscopy is another swift approach that’s great for stones located in the ureter. Depending on the stone’s size and location, this procedure can be completed in around 30 minutes to an hour.
Furthermore, it’s recommended to drink plenty of water to help flush out your kidney and increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Strive for at least 12 glasses of water a day as opposed to the regular 8-glass guideline. Drinking lemon juice or diluted apple cider vinegar can also support the natural breakdown of stones. These natural remedies are helpful when you are awaiting your treatment.
If you are suffering from kidney stones and considering kidney stone removal surgery, visit us. At Mohamed & Associates Urology Center, we offer different surgeries to help you with the removal of kidney stones according to your medical needs. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 507 N Brightleaf Blvd #205, Smithfield, NC 27577. We serve patients from Smithfield NC, Selma NC, Clayton NC, Princeton NC, Whitley Heights NC, Four Oaks NC, Pine Level NC and Kenly NC.
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