Kidney Stone Treatment
Treatment for kidney stones varies according to the type, size of the stone and its cause.
Treatment of Small stones with minimal symptoms
Most small kidney stones won’t require invasive treatment. You may be able to pass a small stone by:
- Drinking water.Drinking as much as 2 to 3 quarts (1.9 to 2.8 liters) a day may help flush out your urinary system.
- Pain relievers. Passing a small stone can cause some discomfort. To relieve mild pain, your doctor may recommend pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
- Medical therapy. Your doctor may give you medication to help pass your kidney stone. This type of medication, known as an alpha blocker, relaxes the muscles in your ureter, helping you pass the kidney stone more quickly and with less pain. Large stones and those that cause symptoms
- Kidney stones that can’t be treated with conservative measures — either because they’re too large to pass on their own or because they cause bleeding, kidney damage or ongoing urinary tract infections — may require more extensive treatment. Procedures may include: Using the ESWLsound wave technique. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces that can more easily travel through the urinary tract and pass from the body. The procedure lasts about 45 to 60 minutes and can cause moderate pain so you may be under sedation or light anesthesia to make you comfortable.ESWL can cause blood in the urine, bruising on the back or abdomen, bleeding around the kidney and other adjacent organs, and discomfort as the stone fragments pass through the urinary tract.Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Surgery to remove very large stones.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (nef-roe-lih-THOT-uh-me) is a procedure used to remove kidney stones from the body when they can’t pass on their own. A scope is inserted through a small incision in your back to remove the kidney stones.Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is used most often for larger stones or when other procedures, such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or ureteroscopy, are unsuccessful or not possible.You will receive general anesthesia during the surgery and be in the hospital for one to two days while you recover. Your doctor may recommend this surgery if ESWL was unsuccessful.
Using a scope Ureteroscopy to remove stones.
It is a procedure in which a small scope (like a flexible telescope) is inserted into the bladder and ureter and it is used to diagnose and treat a variety of problems in the urinary tract. For ureteral stones, it allows the urologist to look into the ureter, find the stone and remove it. The surgeon passes a tiny wire basket into the lower ureter via the bladder, grabs the stone and pulls the stone free. This is an outpatient procedure with or without a stent inserted (a tube that is placed in the ureter to hold it open).
Parathyroid gland surgery.
Some calcium phosphate stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands, which are located on the four corners of your thyroid gland, just below your Adam’s apple. When these glands produce too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), your calcium levels can become too high and kidney stones may form as a result.
Hyperparathyroidism sometimes occurs when a small, benign tumor forms in one of your parathyroid glands or you develop another condition that leads these glands to produce more parathyroid hormone. Removing the growth from the gland stops the formation of kidney stones. Or your doctor may recommend treatment of the condition that’s causing your parathyroid gland to overproduce the hormone.