Kidney Stone Treatments:
Healthcare professionals treat kidney stones based on their size, location and other factors.
Kidney stones can pass on their own if they are small – less than 4mm – but if they are larger than that, they need medical treatment to be removed.
There are several medical treatments that can be used:
– Shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL):
It utilizes an X-ray machine to locate the stones within the body and sends shock waves to break them up into small particles that can be passed through the urine. This procedure is the least invasive option – no incisions and no scopes are placed into the patient’s body. ESWL, however, may not be appropriate for all patients as the shock waves may not adequately break up stones in certain cases.
– Ureteroscopy/ Renoscopy:
In this procedure, a small scope is passed into the body through the urethra (the tube where urine exits) without incision. The scope is then advanced to the kidney stone and a laser is used to break it up. This option is appropriate for nearly all stones. However, repeat procedures may be necessary to completely clear them with larger stones.
Sometimes a urologist will suggest medications rather than treatment such as:
– Potassium Citrate:
This is used to raise the citrate and pH levels in urine. This makes it easier for kidney stones to dissolve in the urine.
It reduces acidity in the urine which allows stones to be broken down and pass through.
These are non-surgical treatments but surgical treatments also exist.
Surgical Treatments for Kidney Stones:
Large and painful kidney stones that cause an obstruction of urine flow, bleeding or infection require surgery for removal. The following are surgeries that can be done for kidney stone removal:
– Percutaneous nephrolithotomy:
This surgical procedure is typically used to treat kidney stones that are larger than two centimetres and may be in hard-to-reach locations in the kidneys or ureters. In this procedure, a surgeon makes a small incision, most commonly in the back, creating a narrow tunnel directly to the kidney to break up and remove large or irregularly shaped stones. Larger stones may require additional surgeries in order to completely remove them.
A tube may be left in the kidney to allow the drainage of urine out of the body while you heal from surgery. Most people can go home the day after the procedure and can expect to recuperate in two to four weeks.
Our doctors also perform the “mini-perc,” which is a less invasive version of percutaneous nephrolithotomy that results in a smaller incision and may reduce pain after surgery.
– Robotic-Assisted Kidney Stone Removal:
Robotic-assisted surgery gives doctors a high-resolution, three-dimensional view of small areas, such as the ureters. It also provides surgeons with an increased range of motion and the ability to make more precise incisions, which can lead to less scarring. People who have this procedure may heal more quickly and spend fewer days in the hospital compared with those who have had traditional open surgery.
Robotic-assisted kidney stone surgery is most often used in people who were born with a kidney drainage problem, called a ureteropelvic junction obstruction, and who also have kidney stones. The stones can be removed at the same time as the surgery to repair the ureteropelvic junction.
In rare situations, your doctor may recommend robotic-assisted surgery to remove complicated stones that cannot be successfully removed using other surgical methods.
– Open surgery
Doctors only recommend open surgery if they cannot remove kidney stones using other techniques. During this procedure, a person receives a general anaesthetic. To begin, a surgeon makes an incision on the side and opens the kidney and ureter. They then locate and remove the stone. Before stitching up, they will add a drain to ensure urine does not enter the wound. They will also insert a stent into the ureter.
Should You Get A Surgery For Kidney Stones?
You must speak with your doctor about getting surgery done for kidney stones. He or she will give you the necessary information that you need for you to make that decision.
Surgery is a last resort only performed after medicines and non-invasive treatments have failed or been rejected. Since there is more than one kind of surgery for kidney stones, your doctor will tell you which is the best one for you.
We at Chennai Kidney Centre have the best urology hospital in Chennai and the best urologist in the city too. If you come to us for surgery, we will give you the optimum care. Our surgeons have years of experience which they will use to perform safe and effective surgeries on you.