Kidney Stone

Kidney Stone Treatment

What is Kidney Stone

Kidney stones or renal calculi are small fragments of waste materials that get collected in your kidneys and keep on expanding with time. They can have varying sizes, either as small as a grain of sand or big enough to be compared to a golf ball. When your body does not get enough fluids, the chances of these waste materials depositing over a certain region increase resulting in kidney stone formation.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Risk Factors
Prevention
Diagnosis

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Urologists have come across an array of urolithiasis(kidney stone) cases, each distinct from the other. While some get diagnosed early enough to get treated without surgery through medications, in other cases, the stones keep on expanding, exposing you to unprecedented waves of pain. So one should stay alert on experiencing the following symptoms associated with kidney stones

  • Excruciating pain on either side of the lower abdomen.
  • Vomiting or nausea.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Pain in the stomach.
  • Fever
  • Unusually foul-smelling urine that looks cloudy

Risk Factors

Understanding the risk factors will help the concerned person to prevent or decrease the development of CAD.

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Cholesterol Levels
  • Tobacco Smoking
  • Insulin Resistance/ Hyperglycemia/ Diabetes Mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Emotional Stress
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • History of preeclampsia during pregnancy

Prevention

Keeping the blood cholesterol level maintained can help to reduce the risk of CAD. One can take the following measures to keep the blood cholesterol level on check:

  • Being more physically active
  • Limiting the alcohol content
  • Avoiding Tobacco
  • Adopting a diet with less sugar, salt and saturated fats.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of CAD includes several medical tests, along with physical examinations and a brief analysis of the patient’s medical history. 

The medical tests include:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress Test
  • Cardiac Catheterization (left heart catheterization)
  • Heart CT Scan
  • Nuclear Ventriculography
  • Blood Test

How is it diagnosed?

If the symptoms are not getting better with the medications, then the concerned individual has to undergo medical surgeries.

Kidney Stone Treatments

While removal of kidney stones is a pressing matter not only because of the pain that comes along but also because it can cause Urinary tract infections and kidney damage. There are several approaches your urologist will opt for depending upon the nature of the kidney stone and its size.

  • Medical therapy
  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotripsy
  • Ureteroscopy
If your kidney stone is less than 10mm in diameter, it can be treated without surgery. The most common advice will be to drink plenty of water to prevent kidney stone formation and make the stone pass in the urine. But with this, you can also be kept on certain medications whose primary job is to relax the muscles on your ureter. Ureters are the long narrow tube connecting your kidneys to the urinary bladder. As the muscles relax, you can pass the kidney stone more easily without causing much pain or discomfort. These medications are called alpha-blockers, tamsulosin is a common example under this category.
This treatment is generally observed for small kidney stones.
If the stone size is less than 10mm, ESWL is an effective approach, however, stones bigger than 20 mm cannot be treated by this method.
An X-ray test or a CT scan of kidneys is carried out to locate the kidney stone and its size, and then your urologist can conclude which method must suit you best.
Once you get ready for the procedure, your urologist will subject you to shock waves which can break down the lump of stone into smaller fragments that eventually pass with urine.
However, the location of the kidney stone is just as crucial as the size. The kidneys are divided into three subgroups: the upper, middle, and lower pole. If the stone is located in the upper or middle pole ESWL can show effective results in stone removal. However, in the lower pole gravity plays an important role in minimizing the procedure’s efficacy. The fragmented particles are unable to pass and get accumulated in the kidney
When the kidney stones are larger than 2cm or located in the lower pole of a kidney and irregular in shape, your urologist may suggest percutaneous nephrolithotripsy.
This surgical method requires an incision in the back from where your urologist will insert a nephroscope that can reach up to the kidneys.
A nephroscope is an optical surgical instrument that can perform multiple tasks at a time.
Once inserted, you can observe the insides of a kidney with the help of a magnifying lens the nephroscope is equipped with.
A urologist will opt for a arthroscopy when the kidney stones have passed through the kidneys and have been deposited in the ureters,
In this method, your doctor will insert an optical device called a ureteroscope through the urethra, passing through the bladder and reaching up to the ureters. A doctor can effectively view the insides of the bladder and the ureters with a lens and an eyepiece on either side of this flexible or semi-rigid device.
For small stones, your urologist can remove them by inserting a wire through the ureteroscope, and for larger stones, they can be broken with a power source which again is threaded up through the ureteroscope.

When do I contact the doctor?

If the symptoms are not getting better with the medications, then the concerned individual has to undergo medical surgeries.

You need to consult the doctor immediately in case of seizures and blackouts. While some of these symptoms may be a result of other medical condition, it is always advisable to receive immediate medical attention. Repeated seizures can cause serious injury and must never be ignored.