Treating Kidney Stones

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Treatment of Kidney Stones

The treatment available for kidney stones varies according to the size and type of kidney stone and its location.

If the stones are small, they probably won’t require invasive treatment and can be passed with hydration and medication like pain relievers and alpha blockers that relax the muscles in your ureter. This is how most kidney stones are resolved.

Dr. Rolando RiveraIf you have large stones, however, your urologist may approach them with more extensive treatment. There are several ways to eliminate them. If you have severe pain, an infection, or your kidney function is threatened, your doctor will want to act quickly. Fortunately, during the 1980s a new approach to getting rid of the stones appeared on the medical scene and quickly replaced surgical removal of the stones. This treatment, called lithotripsy, uses sound waves to break larger kidney stones into tiny pieces so they can be passed during urination. These sound waves are also called high-energy shock waves and are usually implemented from outside the body in what is called “extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy” or ESWL. The procedure takes about 45 minutes to an hour and you may be put under light sedation during treatment.

If the stones are larger and located in the kidney, or if ESWL did not break them down, your urologist may perform surgery to remove them. Your doctor can explain the surgical approach he recommends.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Calcium phosphate stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands which are located below your Adam’s apple. When these glands overproduce the parathyroid hormone the result is hyperparathyroidism, resulting in an excess of calcium that may cause kidney stones. Your doctor likely will recommend treatment to stop your parathyroid gland from overproducing the hormone.

Prevention of Kidney Stones

You may lower your risk of kidney stones if you:

  • Drink large amounts of water during the day. If you are in a dry environment or exercise significantly, you may need even more water, drinking enough so your urine looks almost clear.
  • Consume fewer oxalate-rich foods. If your doctor determines you have calcium oxalate stones, he may recommend dietary changes to reduce foods that are high in oxalate, like beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, tea, chocolate, nuts and soy products.
  • Reduce your dietary salt and consumption of animal proteins.

Medications

Medications may help prevent kidney stones, depending on the type of stone. Uric acid stones, calcium stones, cystine stones and struvite stones each require a different plan for prevention.
If you reside in Florida, you are probably not far from an Advanced Urology Institute location. If you are near Naples or Bonita Springs, you may wish to consult with Dr. Rolando Rivera for your kidney stone symptoms and treatment. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Treating Kidney Stones

1035 Piper Blvd, Suite 101 Naples, Florida 34110 USA
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