Kidney stones occur in more than 5% of US population. It is most common in people in their 30′s and 40′s and slightly more common in men than in women.
How do Kidney Stones Form?
Kidney stones form when the concentration of certain minerals and chemicals becomes high enough for them to combine to make crystals, which then bind together to form a larger stone. Small stones may grow larger over time depending on different circumstances. Sometimes, these stones try to pass down the urine tubes and that’s when they may block the kidney and cause pain, bleeding and occasionally infections and kidney damage. Watch this video to learn more about kidney stones.
Certainly the most common question most patients ask after suffering a painful kidney stone attack is “why did I get this stone?” In most cases we don’t have a clear answer except poor hydration. However, in patients with large amount of stone, younger patients and those with recurrent stones, we generally recommend a more in depth investigation.
If you just had a kidney stone, there is a 40-50% chance that in the next five years, you may form a new stone.
Ask your doctor to perform stone chemical analysis, collection of 24 hour urine chemical analysis and certain blood test to see if there is a way to prevent your stones, besides hydration.
Dietary changes may help prevent stones. Besides diet, there are several dietary supplements and medications used in stone prevention. These should be taken under close supervision by a physician.
Kidney Stone Surgical Treatment Options
We have listed the accepted surgical treatment options for kidney stones. Selection of the “right” treatment depends to the location, type and size of stones as well as the understanding what each patient wants and tolerates. At times we combine several treatments to help render the patients “stone free.”
The Right Treatment for the Right Stone and Patient
- Soundwave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy (PCNL)
- Ureteroscopy with Laser Lithotripsy
- Ureteral Stent
- Stone Prevention Testing
- Kidney Stone Prevention Medications and Supplements
- Stone Prevention Diets