When there is accumulation of some crystal forming minerals, like calcium, oxalate, phosphorus and uric acid, it leads to the formation of kidney stones. The stones may travel through the urinary tract and bladder, thereby causing severe pain.
Factors that cause Kidney Stone
The presence of excess crystal forming minerals like calcium, uric acid, Oxalate etc in urine can increase the risk of kidney stone. The several other factors, which can up your risk of developing kidney stones, are as follows:
- Family history of kidney stone
- High animal protein and high sodium-rich diet
- Certain medical conditions including gout, arthritis, Medullary sponge kidney etc.
What are the Kidney Stone Symptoms?
Kidney stones do not trouble you until it moves through the urinary tract and passes into the ureter.
- Severe pain in lower back, side of abdomen and sometimes in the groin area
- Pain while urinating
- Persistent need to urinate
- Nausea, restlessness and dizziness
- Foul smell of urine
- Fever in case of severe infection is there
Diagnosis of Kidney Stones
Since there is no pain or significant symptoms occur until the stone moves around the kidney, right diagnosis is the only key to get started with the right kidney stone treatment. If not diagnosed and treated earlier, kidney stones can even grow to a size of a ping-pong ball. If your doctor suspects that you have kidney stones, he may ask you to undergo several blood tests, urine culture and ultrasound scan. To confirm whether you have kidney stones imagining studies such as Helical CT scan or an X-Ray known as KUB view are performed.
Treatment for Kidney Stones
Depending on the location, and size of the stones the treatment for kidney stone is decided. If it is diagnosed at an early stage, drinking a lot of water and taking proper medicine can help in flushing out the small kidney stones via urine. If the stones get stuck in your urinary tract or too large to dissolve by medicine, the kidney stone laser treatments and surgeries would be the only resort.
Also Read: Drinking Less Water During Winters Can Cause Kidney Stones
Surgical Procedures to Treat Kidney Stones
Kidney stones that are larger than 9mm in diameter are less likely to pass on their own through urine without surgical intervention.
ESWL (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy)
High frequency, electromagnetic shock waves are used to crush the stones into tiny pieces so that it can pass out of the body through urine. The shock waves target the stone from outside the body and break them into sand-like particles. It can effectively cure stones that are present in the upper ureter and in the kidney. It is a painless, less invasive process, which is done without making any cut on your body. Known as one of the best treatment for kidney stones, this procedure is done without anaesthesia and patients can go home on the same of hospitalization.
An instrument called lithotrite is inserted into the urinary bladder through the urethra to break down stones into sand-like particles.
Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy (PCNL)
A telescope along with a mechanical lithotriptor inserted through a small incision on the skin to crush down the kidney stones in small particles. This process is conducted under anaesthesia.
Ureteroscopy with Laser
This process uses a flexible, scope like instrument and laser to break the stones into pieces. The scope is inserted through the ureter and the laser is used to break stones into tiny particles. This painless, laser operation for kidney stone is best to cure stone of bladder, ureter and urethra as well. Kidney stone surgeries and treatments have witnessed enormous improvement in the last couple of years. Less invasive, painless laser surgeries have replaced the painful open kidney operations, there by minimizing the risk of postoperative complications and other risks.