If you’re one of the millions of Americans who has suffered from stone disease, you know an attack can be excruciating. Stone disease is quite common, but with help, re-occurrence can be held to a minimum. Western Michigan Urological Associates can alleviate immediate pain and develop a long-term prevention strategy to help keep the disease from flaring again.
Left alone, many smaller kidney stones pass through the urinary tract within a few days by increasing fluid intake, pain and nausea control, and medicine to promote stone passage.
For larger, difficult or multiple stones, we may consider a number of different stone removing strategies. A procedure called lithotripsy uses shock waves to break up a large stone into smaller pieces that can then pass through the urinary system. Small endoscopic instruments can also be used to remove stone fragments without incision.
Kidney stones can form when urine contains too much of certain substances. These substances can create small crystals that become stones. Kidney stones are common. A person who has had kidney stones often gets them again in the future.
- Severe pain that starts and may go away suddenly
- Pain in the belly area or side of the back
- Pain that moves to groin area (groin pain) or testicles (testicle pain)
- Abnormal urine color
- Blood in the urine
- A swollen kidney or kidneys, causing pain, often severe
- Some stones tend to run in families. Patients with family members who suffer from stone disease have a 2.5 times greater risk of developing stones than those without stone-forming family members.
- Bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disorder
- Gastric bypass for obesity
- Renal tubule defects
- Analysis of the stone to determine type
- Uric acid level
- Urinalysis to see crystals and red blood cells in urine
- If you’ve had more than two or three stones in your lifetime, we may suggest a metabolic profile (24-hour urine chemistry test) to better understand the reason for your stone disease.
Varies depending on the type of stone and symptoms.
- Extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy — used to remove stones slightly smaller than a half an inch located near the kidney. This method uses ultrasonic waves or shock waves to break up stones so the body can more easily pass the stones.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy — used for large stones in or near the kidney, or when the kidneys or surrounding areas are incorrectly formed. The stone is removed with an endoscope inserted into the kidney through a small opening.
- Ureteroscopy – utilizes tiny fibrotic telescopes to remove stones without incision.