When it comes to kidney stone removal, the treatment that works the best for you depends on the type, size and cause of the stone(s) you have. Make sure that you and your doctor have answers to all these conditions first before deciding on a procedure. While kidney stones removal could be as easy as drinking a significant amount of water (10-12 glasses per day) and staying physically active, many situations require more intensive treatments. This is especially the case if there are other circumstances, such as an infection, a blockage, or risk of kidney damage, in combination with the existing kidney stone.
Below is a description of numerous treatment procedures that are currently available for kidney stone removal.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): The lithotripsy procedure works has the highest success rate – approximately 90% cure – on kidney stones less than half of an inch that do not pass on their own and that are located in the upper portion of the ureter or the pelvic area of the kidney. In general, this procedure works about 65%-75% of the time on kidney stone removal, depending on the type and size of the stone.
This procedure is done on an outpatient basis and sometimes requires anesthesia. As the patient sits in a water bath or on a cushion, an ultrasound machine pinpoints the kidney stone and then uses high-energy shockwaves to repeatedly shatter the stone into a fine powder that can easily be passed out of the body through the urine. This relatively simple procedure for kidney stones removal requires minimal recovery time.
Parathyroid Surgery: Parathyroid surgery (also known by the complicated medical term, percutaneous nephrolithotomy) is used for kidney stone removal when the stones are either too large or located in an area where ESWL cannot effectively destroy it. Considered more invasive than ESWL, the patient must be given anesthesia. The doctor makes a small incision in the patient’s back to insert a telescopic instrument into the body that can puncture the kidney. Another device is then passed through this tunnel to grab the stone and pull it out of the body or use shock waves to crush it into pieces.
The benefit of this procedure for kidney stones removal is that there is no doubt that the kidney stone is removed because it is not left to chance that all the pieces will be excreted out of the body through the urine. The doctor can ensure complete removal because all of it is physically removed during surgery. This type of treatment, however, does require a stay in the hospital of up to a few days so that the kidney can heal properly.
Additionally, prevention of future stones may involve surgery to remove the parathyroid gland, which is located in the neck.
Laser Lithotripsy: Similar to ESWL, laser lithotripsy shatters the kidney stone through the use of laser energy. To do this, a small device is inserted into the urethra and passed up into the ureter until it reaches the stone that must be broken up. Then, the pieces and debris are passed out of the body through the urine.
Ureteroscopy: Kidney stone removal treatments for small stones located in the middle or lower part of the ureter can be successfully treated with ureteroscopy. Using a general anesthetic, the doctor inserts a small fiber optic device into the ureter. After locating the stone, a cage-like device is used to remove the stone or it is shattered through the use of shockwaves. During a brief hospital stay of a few days, a small tube is left in the ureter to ensure proper healing after the stone extraction.
Open Surgery: When the stone is too big and cannot pass out of the body, surgery is required to alleviate the pain and discomfort. Kidney stone removal surgery may also be necessary if the doctor sees signs that the stone is continuing to grow or if it is blocking urine flow, which can lead to kidney damage or urinary tract infections. Considered the most invasive of all kidney stone removal procedures, the patient received anesthesia so that the doctor can cut the skin to reach the kidney or ureter pelvis to physically pull the stone out of the body. As you can imagine, the recovery time can be considerable, averaging four to six weeks based on the severity of the surgery.
Non-Surgical Solutions: Proper kidney stone treatment does not always require outpatient surgery or long-term hospital stays. There are stone dissolving treatments available, such as Mark Anastasi’s Kidney Stone ebook formula, which can help you potentially avoid the hospital as well as costly and painful kidney stone removal procedures. Please visit our reviews of non-surgical solutions by clicking here.
Treatment of Underlying Disorders: When looking at solutions for kidney stone removal, it is important to identify and correct any other disorders that may be the probably cause of the stone’s formation. For example, a person suffering from this ailment may also have something else that is exacerbating the situation. These disorders could include distal renal tubular acidosis, hyperthyroidism, sarcoidosis, and certain cancers. If you suspect that there may be more causes behind your pain, it may be best to do some research on the aforementioned disorders or discuss them with your doctor.
Learn more about treatment options from Healthline.
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