WHAT ARE URINARY STONES?
Urinary stones are hard masses that form inside your kidneys. They are actually mineral deposits. They occur due to many reasons and can occur in any part of the urinary tract- from kidneys to bladder. There are kidney and ureteric stones and bladder stones. Treatment will depend on the type of stone and their location.
SYMPTOMS OF URINARY STONES
Stones especially smaller stones can cause excruciating pain. This is known as renal colic where an intense pain can be felt in the area between the ribs and hips, it spreads across the abdomen and extends to the genital area. The pain is usally intermittent. Other symptoms include nausea, vomitting, blood in urine, fever and painful urination.
DIAGNOSING URINARY STONES
A computed tomography (CT) scan is often used to diagnose urinary stones. It can locate a stone and the degree to which the stone is blocking the urinary tract.
TREATMENTS FOR URINARY STONES
Treatment will depend on the type, the size, the location of the stone and the symptoms that patient has. Most kidney stones will not require invasive treatment. They may be able to passed out by drinking water alone and using pain medications and medication to help pass the stones. For large stones causing symptoms, more invasive procedures may have to be performed.
- URETEROSCOPY AND LASER LITHOTRIPSY (URS & LL)
A thin lighted scope known as the ureteroscope is inserted through your urethra and bladder to your ureter. Once the stone is located, a laser beam will break it into pieces that will then be passed in your urine. A stent is inserted in the ureter to relieve swelling and help healing. This is the most common endoscopic procedure performed for the treatment of kidney stones which provide patients with a quick relief of symptoms.
- EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCK WAVE LITHOTRIPSY (ESWL)
ESWL uses sound waves to create strong vibrations (shock waves) that break the stones to smaller fragments that can be passed in your urine. However, depending on the type and size of stone, this treatment may not be suitable. Doctor will assess the patient before recommending the best treatment to ensure a better stone clearance rate.
- PERCUTANEOUS NEPHROLITHOTOMY (PCNL)
PCNL involves surgically removing a kidney stone using small instruments inserted through a small cut in your back. This procedure is used for larger kidney stones.