Kidney Stone Removal

Kidney Stone Removal

Kidney Stone Removal

Kidney stones are mineral and acid salt deposits that bind together in concentrated urine. They can be uncomfortable when moving through the urinary tract, but they seldom cause permanent harm.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones 

A kidney stone normally does not produce symptoms until it travels about within your kidney or enters your ureters — the tubes that link your kidneys and bladder. If it becomes caught in the ureters, it can obstruct the flow of urine, causing the kidney to enlarge and the ureter to spasm, both of which can be excruciatingly painful. At that moment, you may notice the following indications and symptoms:

  • Sharp discomfort in the side and back, just behind the rib cage

  • Radiating pain in the lower abdomen and groin

  • Pink, red or brown urine

  • Cloudy urine 

  • Vomiting and nausea

As a kidney stone passes through your urinary tract, the pain it causes may alter — for example, migrating to a different spot or rising in severity.

Diagnosis of kidney stones

If your doctor believes you have a kidney stone, you may undergo the following diagnostic tests and procedures:

  • Blood tests: Blood tests may suggest that you have an excess of calcium or uric acid in your blood. Blood test results help your doctor monitor the health of your kidneys and may prompt him or her to look for other medical concerns.

  • Urine analysis: The 24-hour urine collection test may reveal that you are excreting either too many stone-forming minerals or not enough stone-preventing chemicals. Your doctor may recommend you collect two urine samples on two consecutive days for this test.

  • Imaging: Urinary tract imaging testing may reveal kidney stones. Even small stones can be detected using high-speed or dual-energy computerised tomography (CT). Because simple abdominal X-rays might overlook tiny kidney stones, they are utilised less frequently.

Another imaging technique for diagnosing kidney stones is ultrasound, a noninvasive test that is rapid and straightforward to administer. The stones passed are analyzed. You could be asked to urinate into a sieve to capture any stones that pass through. The composition of your kidney stones will be revealed through laboratory investigation. This information is used by your doctor to establish what is causing your kidney stones and devise a plan to prevent future kidney stones.

Treatment for kidney stones differs according to the type of stone and the cause. The majority of minor kidney stones do not necessitate invasive treatment. Remedies your doctor will suggest include:

  • Drinking 2 to 3 quarts (1.8 to 3.6 liters) of water per day will keep your urine diluted and may avoid the formation of stones. Drink enough fluid — preferably primarily water — to create clear or almost clear urine, unless your doctor advises you differently.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication 

Kidney stones that are too big to pass on their own or that cause bleeding, kidney damage or recurrent urinary tract infections may necessitate more thorough treatment. Procedures may include the following:

  • Sound waves are used to break apart stones. Your doctor may propose extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) for some kidney stones, depending on their size and location.

  • The ESWL method employs sound waves to generate intense vibrations (shock waves) that shatter the stones into little bits that may be transported via your urine. The operation takes around 45 to 60 minutes and can be painful, so you may be sedated or given a mild anaesthetic to make you more comfortable.

Blood in the urine, bruises on the back or abdomen, bleeding around the kidney and other nearby organs, and pain as stone pieces move through the urinary tract are all symptoms of ESWL.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a surgical treatment that includes removing a kidney stone using small telescopes and equipment placed through a small incision in your back.

During the procedure, you will be sedated and will stay in the hospital for one to two days to recover. If ESWL fails, your doctor may propose this operation.

To remove stones, your doctor will use a scope. A narrow lighted tube (ureteroscope) fitted with a camera may be sent through your urethra and bladder to your ureter to remove a tiny stone in your ureter or kidney.

Once the stone has been identified, specific equipment can catch it or break it up into fragments that will flow through your urine. After that, your doctor may insert a tiny tube (stent) into the ureter to reduce swelling and facilitate recovery. During this treatment, you may require a general or local anesthetic.

Surgery on the parathyroid gland: Overactive parathyroid glands, which are positioned on the four corners of your thyroid gland, right below your Adam's apple (which is located in front of your voice box or larynx), are the source of certain calcium phosphate stones. When these glands create too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), your calcium levels might become excessively high.

Hyperparathyroidism can develop when a tiny, benign tumour grows in one of your parathyroid glands, or when you have another illness that causes these glands to generate extra parathyroid hormone. Kidney stones are prevented from forming by removing the growth from the gland. Alternatively, your doctor may advise you to address the problem that is causing your parathyroid gland to overproduce the hormone.


Kidney stone prevention may include a mix of lifestyle modifications and drugs:

Changes in lifestyle

You may lower the risk of kidney stones by doing the following:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Doctors normally recommend drinking enough fluids to pass around 2.1 quarts (2 litres) of urine per day for those who have a history of kidney stones. To ensure that you're drinking enough water, your doctor may request that you measure your urine output.

  • If you live in a hot, dry region or often exercise, you may need to drink significantly more water to generate adequate pee. You're probably drinking enough water if your pee is light and clear.

  • Reduce your intake of oxalate-rich foods. If you are prone to calcium oxalate stones, your doctor may advise you to limit your intake of oxalate-rich foods. Rhubarb, beets, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, almonds, tea, chocolate, black pepper, and soy products are among them.

  • Reduce your intake of salt and animal protein. Reduce your salt intake and opt for non-animal protein sources like beans. Use a salt replacement.

  • Continue to consume calcium-rich foods, but use caution while using calcium supplements. Calcium from the diet has little influence on your risk of kidney stones. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, continue to consume calcium-rich foods.

  • Before using calcium supplements, see your doctor because they have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones. You can lower your risk by taking vitamins with your meals. Calcium-deficient diets may enhance the production of kidney stones in some persons.

Request a referral from your doctor to a nutritionist who can assist you in developing an eating plan that can lower your risk of kidney stones.

In case of small kidney stones that do not obstruct your kidney or cause other complications, your doctor may monitor your condition and provide medication and supportive care. However, if you have a huge kidney stone and are experiencing significant discomfort or kidney difficulties, your doctor may recommend medication and medical procedures to treat the condition. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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