What Are The Risks
Even minimally invasive surgeries, like percutaneous nephrolithotomy or nephrolithotripsy, carry risks of infection, bleeding, and other complications. The procedure creates a hole in the kidney that usually heals without other treatment. Operations on the abdomen carry a small risk of injury to other nearby organs, such as the bowel, the ureter, the liver or the bladder.
The Donts You Need To Remember
- Avoid eating junk, foods with added sugar, and preservatives. Such food items make the kidney stones grow severe and aggravate the pain.
- You just cannot and must not lead a sedentary mode of lifestyle. This increases the risk of obesity. With obesity comes numerous health problems including pesky kidney stones.
- You gotta cut down on caffeine and carbonated colas. These drinks are not nourishing and rather impart dehydrating effects. And, you are already aware of the negative connection of kidney stones and dehydration.
- Last but not the least, cigarettes and alcohol. Nothing harms your body than these two ill habits. And the harm does not limit to your physical health. Prolonged smoking and excessive alcohol consumption only trigger intense pain of kidney stones along with other complications.
What To Expect During Lithotripsy
Lithotripsy is usually done on an outpatient basis. This means that youll go to the hospital or clinic on the day of the procedure and leave the same day.
Before the procedure, you change into a hospital gown and lie on an exam table on top of a soft, water-filled cushion. This is where you remain while the procedure is performed. Youre then given medicine to sedate you and antibiotics to fight infection.
During lithotripsy, high-energy shock waves will pass through your body until they reach the kidney stones. The waves will break the stones into very small pieces that can easily be passed through your urinary system.
After the procedure, youll spend about two hours in recovery before being sent home. In some cases, you may be hospitalized overnight. Plan to spend one to two days resting at home after the procedure. Its also a good idea to drink plenty of water for several weeks after lithotripsy. This will help your kidneys flush out any remaining stone fragments.
You May Like: Is Pomegranate Juice Good For Your Kidneys
Ureteroscopy And Laser Lithotripsy
Along with SWL, ureteroscopy is a preferred method for the treatment of small-to-medium sized kidney stones located in any part of the urinary tract. Washington University was one of the first centers in the world to offer ureteroscopic stone treatment. Our highly skilled endourologists are available to offer advanced ureteroscopic stone management.
Ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy are typically performed as a same-day procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the urologist passes a small scope through the urinary opening into the bladder and from there up into the ureter, the small tube that drains urine from the kidney to the bladder. Once the stones are located, they are targeted with a laser that breaks the stone into smaller pieces, which are then extracted, or into tiny pieces of dust that wash out of the kidney with normal urine flow.
Often, a small tube, called a stent, will be placed temporarily to help the kidney drain after the operation. The stent is completely internal, and is generally removed after 3-10 days. Removal is performed quickly and easily in the office without the need for anesthesia.
Although slightly more invasive than SWL, ureteroscopy may be the preferred option if you have certain types of hard stones that dont respond to SWL, or a stone that is not visible on X-ray. In addition, ureteroscopy is often preferable to SWL for stones that are low in the urinary tract, in the region approaching the bladder.
Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones
The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although there is a risk of recurrence . Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.
Its possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make dietary changes to prevent future stones.
Don’t Miss: Does Carbonation Cause Kidney Stones
What Other Treatment Choices For Kidney Stones Are Available
Drug treatment is being studied with such drugs as such as calcium channel blockers , steroids and alpha-adrenergic blockers. The idea is that the stone might be dissolved with medication. Other drugs such as K-citrate, thiazides or allopurinol are prescribed to prevent new stones from developing. Most doctors agree that more medical trials are needed.
When SWL is not appropriate or doesnt work, some people will need ureteroscopy, a technique that goes through the bladder to reach the stone or percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a technique that goes through a small incision created in your back. Some people, in extremely rare cases, even need open surgery, a technique that involves a larger incision in your abdomen. The medical terms for kidney stone surgery are ureterolithotomy or nephrolithotomy.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
You May Like: Is Grape Juice Good For Kidneys
Diagnosis: Low Urine Ph
Citrate supplements, such as potassium citrate, will raise the pH of your urine, making stones, such as those composed of uric acid, less likely to form. If your blood potassium level is high, your doctor may prescribe sodium bicarbonate or Bicitra.
Lower protein intake
A diet high in protein will reduce urinary pH. As a general recommendation, limit your daily protein intake to 12 ounces per day of beef, poultry, fish and pork. Twelve ounces is equivalent in size to about three decks of cards. This will be plenty of protein to meet your bodys needs.
Increase fluid intake
No matter what your diagnosis, you should drink enough water to produce at least 2 liters of urine per day.
Dont Miss: Is Celery Juice Good For Kidney Disease
What You Can Do As A Caregiver To Support Your Elderly Loved One With Kidney Stones
Prevention is always better than cure.
Thus, as a caregiver, you can encourage your elderly loved one to drink more fluids so they dont become dehydrated.
If you suspect the presence of a kidney stone based on the reports of your elderly loved one, report them to a doctor immediately.
Immediate medical attention is the key to making sure there are no complications.
Treatment of kidney stones is based on the size of the kidney stone, where they are located and what type of kidney stone it is.
If the kidney stone is small enough, the doctor may simply send your elderly loved one home with advice to drink more fluids so they can pass the stone while they are urinating.
The doctor may ask that you save the stone and bring it back so they can study what type of stone it is and give you better advise on what to do to reduce the risk that it will happen again.
If the stone is too big to be passed, a specialist doctor called a urologist may use a procedure called shock wave lithotripsy to break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces so they can be passed.
Alternatively, a surgical procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy where the doctor goes into the kidney through a small cut in the back to remove the kidney stone. This will require a few days stay in the hospital so the doctors can observe recovery.
It is also possible that the doctor will prescribe medications to prevent kidney stones from forming in the future.
Read Also: Can A Kidney Infection Cause Diarrhea
What Does Surgery For Kidney Stones Entail
Most kidney stone surgeries do not require an actual incision. Rather, urologists are able to perform procedures through a patient’s natural orifices, meaning the urethra and ureter. During the procedure, referred to as ureteroscopy, a urologist uses a small flexible camera to locate the stone. From there, they will often use a tiny wire basket or laser fiber to capture the stone and pull it out, or break it up into tiny fragments that are removed.
In other cases, urologists may not need to enter the body at all to treat the stone. Shockwave lithotripsy is used to break the stone apart into tiny fragments by transmitting ultrasound waves through the patients back while they are under anesthesia.
A more invasive surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy may be needed for larger stones. During PCNL, the scope is inserted through a small incision in a patients back.
How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed
Some kidney stones are so small that they may not present any symptoms until they pass into your ureter. The pain from a kidney stone usually starts out of nowhere and, as it moves through your body, so will the location and intensity of the pain source. At this point there will be signs to indicate a problem which can include:
- Severe pain below your ribs, lower abdomen, and groin
- Fluctuating pain
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent need to urinate
- Fever and chills
If you suspect that you have a kidney stone, make an appointment with your doctor. First, its important to prepare yourself with questions about your doctors kidney stone removal methods.You have many options to deal with and to prevent a kidney stone. Be sure you understand the pros and cons of each treatment before you decide which kidney stone removal treatment youll use.
Also Check: Reducose Weight Loss
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Or Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy
If your stone is large or lithotripsy doesn’t break it up enough, this surgery is an option. PCNL uses a small tube to reach the stone and break it up with high-frequency sound waves.
You will be given something so that you wonât be awake during this surgery. Your surgeon will make a small cut in your back or side and place a thin scope into the hole.
The surgery can be done in one of two ways:
Nephrolithotomy: Your surgeon removes the stone through a tube
Nephrolithotripsy: Your surgeon uses sound waves or a laser to break up the stone and then vacuums up the pieces with a suction machine.
The surgery takes 20 to 45 minutes. You’ll typically have to stay in the hospital for a day or two afterward. Usually, a stent will have to stay in your kidney for a few days to help urine drain.
Your doctor might do an X-ray or ultrasound a few weeks later to see whether any parts of the stone are left. They might also send the stone fragments to a lab to find out what they’re made of.
Risks from this surgery include:
- Damage to the bladder, bowel, ureter, kidney, or liver
What Surgical Options Can Be Used For Kidney Stone Treatment
Kidney Stones are those hard deposits that are made up of minerals such as calcium or waste products such as uric acid. They are initially small in size, but they can grow bigger as more minerals stick to them or ignored for a long time.While some kidney stones often pass on their own without treatment through urine, however, other stones that are bigger in size are generally painful and get stuck in the urinary tract leading to a direct need to remove the stone with the help of surgery.One would have to undergo surgical methods if the following situations are created:
- The stone is bigger in size and is unable to get out of the body through its routine urinary tract
- There is severe pain in the side and back of the body just below the ribs. It is a pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin area.
- The stone is blocking the flow of urine out of your kidney causing a lot of discomforts.
- One has had many urinary tract infections in the past because of the stone.
Types of Kidney Stone Procedures and Surgeries :There are various surgical methods for treating the kidney stones depending on the kind of kidney stone, the severity of the problem and the modality of the treatment that is compatible to the patients body considering his or her medical record.The four primary surgical methods for the treatment of kidney stones are :
- Shock Wave Lithotripsy:
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy
- Open Surgery:
Don’t Miss: Is Wine Bad For Kidney Stones
Why You Might Need It
If your stone is unusually large, your doctor may not be able to get it out through other surgeries that use shockwaves or lasers. Nephrolithotomy may be a good alternative if:
- Your stone is about 4/5 of an inch in diameter or bigger
- You have a lot of them, or theyâre very dense
- You have branched stones called staghorn that block a large part of your kidneys
- Youâve had other treatments without success
Youâll usually need to stay in the hospital at least overnight. Nephrolithotomy can completely remove your stones about 85%-90% of the time. You might not be a good candidate for the surgery if you have a severe heart or lung condition, or are prone to uncontrolled bleeding.
How Long Does It Take To Pass A Kidney Stone
The amount of time it can take for you to pass a kidney stone is different from anothers. A stone thats smaller than 4 mm may pass within one to two weeks. A stone thats larger than 4 mm could take about two to three weeks to completely pass.
Once the stone reaches the bladder, it typically passes within a few days, but may take longer, especially in an older man with a large prostate. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so its important to follow up with your healthcare provider if you dont pass the stone within four to six weeks.
Read Also: Do Multivitamins Cause Kidney Stones
Whos Most Likely To Get Kidney Stones What Are The Risk Factors
White men in their 30s and 40s are most likely to get kidney stones. However, anyone can develop kidney stones.
There are several risk factors for developing kidney stones. These include:
- Not drinking enough liquids.
- Having a diet that includes the substances that form the stones .
- Having a family history of kidney stones.
- Having a blockage in your urinary tract.
Certain medical conditions can also increase your risk of developing stones. This is because they may increase or decrease levels of the substances that make up a kidney stone. These conditions can include:
- Hypercalciuria .
Certain foods can also place you at risk of a kidney stone. These foods include:
- Meats and poultry .
- Sodium .
- Sugars .
How Successful Are These Treatments
In short dubious at best. There have been many reports of people using these natural methods, but the efficacy is unsubstantiated. Some people report success, but none of these treatments are based in scientific fact. For every anecdotal success story posted online, there are hundreds more stories of failures . So, what natural remedies DO work?
4. Lab Grade Chanca Piedra
Lab grade chanca piedra has shown high rates of success in kidney stone treatment. This herbal remedy breaks down and prevents the development of new kidney stones. The clinical benefits of all-natural Chanca Piedra are related to ureteral relaxation and to a putative reduction of the excretion of urinary crystallization promoters such as calcium. It first grabbed the attention of the scientific community in a 2002 study on rodents which demonstrated it slowed or halted kidney stone growth. Further studies indicated lab grade Chanca Piedra actually interferes with the process that would normally cause stones to form.
Professor Dr. Nestor Schor speaking about his research on lab grade Chanca Piedra:
Treatment with Phyllanthus niruri strongly inhibited the growth of the stones and reduced the number of stones
These results show that Phyllanthus niruri has an inhibitory effect on crystal growth
You May Like: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Affect Your Kidneys
What Is The Best Procedure For Kidney Stone Removal
Urologists treat kidney stones based on their type, size and location. Smaller kidney stones can pass on their own without treatment. Your urologist may advise you to drink plenty of fluids to help the stone move along your urinary tract. You will be able to pass smaller stones naturally without any treatment other than pain-relieving medication.
For kidney stones that are larger and block your urinary tract or cause unbearable pain, you may need treatment to break down and remove the stones. If you are vomiting and dehydrated, urgent treatment is necessary.
Why Do I Keep Getting These Kidney Stones
The majority of stones are caused by lack of proper hydration. This allows salts and minerals to crystallize in the urine. Some stones also may be caused by urinary stasis or chronic infections in the urinary tract. Some patients may experience kidney stones as a side effect of their medication for controlling headaches or migraines, blood pressure or viral infections such as HIV. Lastly, some patients may just have genetic abnormalities that predispose them to stone formation.
Whatever the reason, some lifestyle modifications can help prevent stones from forming in the future. Proper hydration and nutrition such as limiting oxalate-containing foods are the best ways to keep kidney stones at bay. Urine collection and analysis also can shed light on what predisposes some patients to stones. With this information, your urologist may prescribe you medications that help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Don’t Miss: Can Seltzer Water Cause Kidney Stones