What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are also known as calculi (plural), or calculus (singular). When it is in the kidney, it is a renal calculus. The tube draining the kidney to the bladder is the ureter, and a stone in the ureter is a urethral calculus. Passing a stone is usually very painful. However, many patients can pass a stone with only a “muscle ache” sensation in the back, and they may not be aware the pain was from a stone until it “pops out.”
What Causes Kidney Stones?
- Inadequate urinary drainage,
- Dehydration and lack of sufficient fluid ingestion,
- Foreign bodies in the urinary tract,
- Diet with excess oxalates, calcium, and vitamin abnormalities, e.g., Vitamin A deficiencies, Vitamin D excess,
- urinary infections,
- Metabolic diseases, e.g., hyperparathyroidism, cystinuria, gout, intestinal dysfunction, and
- Use of certain medications, e.g., diuretics that increase levels of uric acid.The exact causes of kidney stone formation are not completely known; however, most credible sources believe that stones are the result of mineral supersaturation and crystallization in the urine. Heredity, environment, age, sex, urinary infection, diet, and metabolic diseases are probably involved in stone formation. The primary known causes are:
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone may or may not cause signs and symptoms until it has moved into the ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, these signs and symptoms may occur:
- Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain on urination
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
Top Hospitals for Kidney Stone Surgery in India
The top hospitals for kidney stone surgery in India offers a wide range of specialist services with the most advanced technology, best surgeons who are highly qualified and world class nursing care. Our network with the best hospitals are located at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Gurgaon, Noida, Ahmedabad and Kerala.
What is the Success Rate of Kidney Stone Surgery?
Kidney stone surgery has a 50 – 90% success rate, depending on the location of the stone and the surgeon’s technique and experience. As a treatment, kidney stone surgery results in a very high success rate of complete stone removal. However, it is also important to note that kidney stone surgery is performed on less than 2% of individuals who have this ailment at present.
How is the Preparation for Kidney Stone Surgery?
- Stop smoking if you are a current smoker. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center recommend staying smoke-free for a month leading up to surgery. In addition, women who take birth control should use alternate contraceptives in the month before surgery.
- Stop taking aspirin or other blood thinners three days before surgery.
- Meet with your doctor three or four days before surgery to discuss any concerns you may have and to get more specific preparation instructions.
- Get any necessary blood tests to ensure you are healthy enough to have surgery and also to verify your blood type (should you require a transfusion).
- Refrain from eating or drinking for at least twelve hours before surgery. Food and liquids may interfere with your anesthesia.
- Go to the hospital at your scheduled time to begin hydration therapy and final preparation before surgery.
What are the Types of Kidney Stone Surgery Procedure?
Currently there are four methods of Kidney stone surgery:
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL):
ESWL uses non-electrical shock waves that are created outside of the body to travel through the skin and body tissues until the shockwaves hit the dense stones. The stones become sand-like and are passed. For this procedure, patients acre placed in a tub of warm, purified water or onto a water cushion machine that acts as a medium for transmitting these non-electrical shockwaves.
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PNL):
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is often used when the stone is quite large or in a location that does not allow effective use of extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL). In this procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the back and creates a tunnel directly into the kidney. Using an instrument called a nephroscope, the stone is located and removed. For large stones, an energy probe (ultrasonic or electrohydraulic) may be needed to break the stone into smaller pieces for removal.
Ureteroscopic Stone Removal:
Ureteroscopic stone removal is achieved by passing a small fiberoptic instrument (a ureteroscope) through the urethra and bladder into the ureter. The surgeon then locates the stone and either removes it with a cage-like device or shatters it with a special instrument that produces a form of shockwave. A small tube (or stent) may be left in the ureter for several days after treatment to help the lining of the ureter to heal.
Kidney stones cause severe pain that spreads from the loin to the groin, due to a stone that blocks the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
Vomiting and sweating are usually associated with the pain and you may strain to pass small amounts of urine.
Sometimes the urine may be bloodstained. The pain eventually stops when the stone passes out of your body, through your urine.
In most cases, this happens without medical intervention.
Once you have had a kidney stone it may reoccur.
These tips can help ease any pain and prevent developing kidney stones in the future.
- drink plenty of water
- take medications as prescribed
- exercise regularly
- eat a balanced diet
- reduce your salt intake
- use the toilet when the urge is present
- attend follow up appointments.
drink alcohol as this increases the risk to form kidney stones
be inactive as this increases the risk of kidney stones.
What to expect
Once the stone passes out of your body the pain will subside.
People who have had one kidney stone are at risk of developing them again. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol intake and stopping smoking are advised.
See your family GP or go to an emergency department if any of the following develop
- severe pain that is unrelieved by painkillers
- inability to pass urine
- severe stinging/burning sensation when passing urine
- blood in the urine which is not clearing.
Where to get help
- See your doctor
- Visit a GP after hours
- Ring healthdirect on 1800 022 222