Treatments for Kidney Stones – Where we bring you the latest information on health and wellness. We’re taking an in-depth look at the topic of kidney stones : what causes them, how they affect our bodies, and most importantly, the different treatment options available. If you or someone you know has ever experienced the excruciating pain of a kidney stone
What are kidney stones
To understand the treatment of kidney stones, it is necessary to know what they are. Kidney stones are hard deposits that form in the kidneys when substances such as calcium, oxalate or uric acid crystallize and stick together. These stones can range in size from a grain of sand to the size of a pea and can cause severe pain and discomfort in larger sizes.
In some cases, small kidney stones can be managed through conservative measures. These include drinking plenty of water to help pass the stones naturally. Additionally, pain medication may also be given to reduce discomfort during the passage of small stones.
Medications can also be used to manage kidney stones. Your doctor may prescribe alpha-blockers such as tamsulosin to help relax the muscles in the urinary tract and flush out the stones. Other medications that may be prescribed may include diuretics to increase urine output or medications to lower levels of specific stone-forming substances, such as calcium or uric acid.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
When kidney stones become large and difficult to pass, a treatment such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, or ESWL, may be recommended. During ESWL, focused sound waves are directed at the stones, breaking them into smaller pieces that can be passed more easily. This procedure is non-invasive and is usually performed on an outpatient basis.
Ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy
Another treatment option for kidney stones is ureteroscopy, combined with laser lithotripsy. This procedure involves inserting a thin tube called a ureteroscope through the urethra and bladder up to the ureter or kidney. Once the stone is located, a laser is used to break it into small pieces that can be easily removed through a scope. Ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy is usually effective for stones located in the ureters or kidneys.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
For larger kidney stones that cannot be treated effectively with ESWL or ureteroscopy, a procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or PCNL, is used. In PCNL, a small incision is made in the back, and a tube is inserted directly into the kidney. Through this tube, the stones are fragmented and removed using special instruments. PCNL is usually performed under general anesthesia and requires a short hospital stay.
Prevention and Lifestyle Changes
Now that we have explored the various treatment options, it is important to know how to prevent kidney stones from recurring. Making lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing new stones. This includes staying well hydrated, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, reducing sodium intake and avoiding certain foods that are known to promote stone formation, such as oxalate-rich foods.
There you have it – a comprehensive overview of the different treatments for kidney stones. Remember, if you experience any symptoms or suspect that you may have kidney stones, consult a health care professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. As always, we hope this information was helpful, and we encourage you to subscribe to our channel for more educational content related to health and wellness.