Salt and mineral deposits within the kidney can harden into stones. One of the causes is a high-sodium diet, and another is dehydration.
You may not need medical attention if your kidney stone is small enough to clear naturally. A doctor or other medical practitioner will submit the kidney stone to a lab to identify its specific type. A medical expert may ask you to collect a kidney stone in a particular container if you can pass one.
Kidney stones that are too large are immensely hurting or that clog the urinary tract may require emergency medical attention. You may be obligated to go to the hospital and obtain fluids through an IV if you have been vomiting and are becoming dehydrated.
Urinary Stone Treatment
The following procedures can be used by a urologist to either altogether remove the kidney stone or split it up into smaller pieces:
The use of shock waves to break apart stones. A kidney stone can be broken up by the doctor using shock wave lithotripsy NIH external link. The broken-up remnants of the kidney stone are subsequently flushed away by the urine system. A doctor can administer anesthesia during this non-hospital outpatient surgery.
In-office procedures involving the urinary tract (cystoscopy and ureteroscopy). Cystoscopy is a procedure in which a cystoscope is used to observe the inside of the urethra and bladder in search of a bladder or urethral stone. The urethra is an entry point for the cystoscope or ureteroscope, which is used to examine the rest of the urinary system. During ureteroscopy, a ureteroscope, which is both longer and thinner than a cystoscope, is used to take detailed images of the kidneys and ureters from within.
As soon as the stone is identified, the doctor can either remove it or break it up into smaller pieces. These surgical procedures occur in a hospital, where a doctor administers anesthesia. Most of the time, you can go home the same day—for laparoscopic kidney stone removal. A nephroscope is a narrow viewing instrument the doctor uses to find the kidney stone and remove it. Your doctor will make a minute cut in your lower back and implant the device straight into your kidney. Using a laser to fragment more giant kidney stones is an additional treatment option. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy NIH external link is done under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. After the operation, you might need to spend several days recuperating in the hospital.
A ureteral stent is a thin, supple tube that may be left in the urinary tract after these operations to aid in the passage of urine or a stone. After a kidney stone has been extracted, your doctor will send the stone, or a fragment of it, to a lab to identify the specific sort of stone it is.
If you have a problem with excessive mineral levels or if you don’t urinate enough each day, you’re more at risk of developing stones. After passing or removing the stone, the doctor may ask you to amass your urine for a full day. The doctor may then measure the number of minerals in your urine and your daily urine output.
How Can Kidney Stones Get Prevented
To avoid having more kidney stones in the future, it’s essential to understand what led to the formation of the ones you’ve already had. To avoid developing kidney stones again, a doctor will advise you on how to modify your food and nutrition plan based on the type of stone you set.
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The best strategy to help prevent most forms of kidney stones is to drink enough liquids daily. Getting plenty of fluids helps dilute pee and flushes out any stone-forming materials.
Even though water is the best option, beverages like citrus juices may also aid in avoiding kidney stones. Citrate, found in lemonade and orange juice, has been shown in some research to prevent crystals from hardening into kidney stones.
A doctor may prescribe medicines to prevent kidney stones if you already have one. You may take medication for a few weeks, months, or longer if your doctor prescribes a specific treatment for your kidney stone and its specific cause.
For instance, the duration of oral antibiotic treatment for struvite stones may range from one to six weeks.
However, a tablet of potassium citrate may be required once a day, three times daily, or even more frequently if you have another sort of stone. It may yield months or even years to take potassium citrate before a doctor would pronounce you were no longer in danger of developing kidney stones.
Surgical Treatment for Hyperparathyroidism
Some people with hyperparathyroidism, a disorder characterized by high blood calcium levels, also produce calcium stones. Hyperparathyroidism can be treated and kidney stones avoided by parathyroidectomy (NIH external link). For severe cases of hyperparathyroidism, surgery to remove the affected parathyroid gland may be necessary. Infection is one of the potential risks of surgery.