The Urology Group
 
Services We Offer / Kidney Stone Treatments /

Kidney/Ureteral Stone Treatments

 

Kidney stones

The Urology Group offers advanced treatment to quickly provide patients with relief from the pain of kidney stones.

Kidney (or ureteral) stones are formed when salts and minerals in the urine stick together. They can be very painful. While the cause may be as simple as a lack of water consumption or improper diet, some stone formation may be inherited. 

Services and treatments offered:

  • Ureteroscopy: Removal of kidney stones through the urinary tract with the aid of a small camera.

    A ureteroscopy is a procedure sometimes recommended for the treatment of kidney stones. It involves the insertion of a thin, telescopic instrument, called a ureteroscope, into the urinary tract to remove the stone(s).

    Physicians recommend ureteroscopy to remove stones that are stuck in the ureter and sometimes for stones in the kidney.

    The Surgery:
    A ureteroscopy is typically an outpatient procedure requiring general anesthesia. The surgeon does not make any incisions, but rather inserts the ureteroscope into the ureter through the urethra and bladder, where the kidney stone is located. Smaller stones can be removed all in one piece. Larger stones may need to be broken up before they are removed. Several types of instruments are available to break up stones. But most surgeons prefer to use a laser.

    The surgeon may also use the ureteroscope to push a kidney stone that is stuck in the ureter back up into the kidney. After the stone is returned to the kidney, the stone may be broken up using lithotripsy.

    What To Expect After Surgery:
    Ureteroscopy has a more than 95 percent success rate. Most people are able to go home the same day of the procedure. But you may need to stay in the hospital. If you do, the stay is usually no more than one to two days.

    For several hours after the procedure you may have a burning feeling when you urinate. This feeling should go away within a day. Drinking a lot of water can help reduce the burning. Your doctor also may recommend you take medicine to numb the burning. There may be blood in your urine for two to three days. Many times a stent will be placed in the ureter for several days. A stent is a plastic tube that allows the kidney to drain properly and the ureter to heal. It may result in the frequent urge to urinate and may cause blood in the urine.
  • Lithotripsy: The break down of kidney stones using shock (sound) waves. This is also called ESWL (extra-corporal shock wave lithotripsy).

    Lithotripsy employs high-energy shock waves to break the stones into tiny pieces, allowing them to pass through the urinary tract and out of the body. The Urology Group is one of the only providers in the nation to offer ultrasound technology ‘built in’ to its lithotripsy equipment, meaning the type and location of kidney stones are more easily pinpointed. 

    The procedure is typically recommended for people with a kidney stone that could pass into the ureter and cause blockage or pain. Lithotripsy may work best for stones in the kidney but can also be used for stones in the ureter. The procedure is not recommended for women who are pregnant or patients with bleeding problems.

    The Procedure:
    A lithotripsy is an outpatient treatment that takes about an hour. General anesthesia is required.

    The procedure takes place on a water-filled cushion atop the examination table, on which you lie while the surgeon uses X-rays or an ultrasound to locate the stone. Next, high-energy shock waves, called sound waves, will pass through your body until they hit the stones and break them into small pieces. These small pieces move through the urinary tract and out of the body more easily than a large stone.

    Your surgeon may use a stent if you have a large stone. A stent is a small, short tube of flexible plastic mesh that will hold the ureter open, enabling the small stone pieces to pass without blocking the ureter.

    What To Expect After Surgery:
    After a lithotripsy, stone fragments usually pass in the urine for a few days and cause mild pain. If you have a larger stone, you may need another treatment.
  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy: Removal of kidney stones through a small back incision with the aid of a small camera.

    This is a more invasive approach to treating kidney stones than lithotripsy, but is effective for larger kidney stones (more than 2 cm, or .8 in., in diameter), and those that are not successfully broken down through a lithotripsy.

    In the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the back, through which a thin tube will be inserted. The kidney stones are removed surgically with a telescopic instrument working through this thin tube.

    The Surgery:
    You will need general anesthesia during this procedure. A small tube (catheter) may be inserted into the kidney to drain urine until the kidney heals.

    The surgeon will make an incision over your kidney, usually along your lowest rib in the back. A small tube will then be inserted into the incision, through which a tiny camera and surgical tools are used to locate and remove the stone(s). The incision is then stitched up to heal.

    What To Expect After Surgery:
    Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is minimally invasive surgery, and proper post-operative care is crucial for recovery. You should expect to be in the hospital for at least one or two days. Most people are able to return to work within a few weeks.

    The success rate of nephrolithotripsy is very high, with about 95 percent removal rate from the kidney and 88 percent from the ureter.
  • Medical therapy: Medications can be used to prevent recurring kidney stones or for stone risk analysis.

Conditions treated:


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