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Kidney Stones

Passing a kidney stone can be an incredibly painful experience. Technology has greatly improved the methods of stone removal. In addition, improved medical treatment can prevent recurrent kidney stone formation.

Stones form in the kidneys from substances filtered from the blood. As they grow, they may stay in the kidney or travel down toward the bladder. When passing, they can block the flow of urine and cause a painful kidney stone attack. The size, shape and location of the stone will determine the symptoms that one may experience and will define the most appropriate treatment for stone removal.

Our specialists can assist you in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of stones. For stones that cannot or do not pass, we are skilled in extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), ureteroscopy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy.  We treat stones using the latest in minimally invasive and non-invasive technology. For recurrent stone formers and those with certain risk factors, we offer full metabolic evaluation to identify underlying causes of stone formation. 

Summary of Our Treatments

Medical Management

If a stone is small and recently began its decent to the bladder, it may pass spontaneously with the help of pain medicine.

Shock Wave Lithotripsy

A dish focuses a energy wave onto the stone and breaks it into small pieces. It is truly noninvasive. The size, location and composition of the stone will all determine whether shock wave lithotripsy will be an appropriate treatment. Although you will probably require a general anesthetic for shock wave lithotripsy, in most cases, this technique can be performed on an out-patient basis.

Ureteroscopic Stone Removal (Laser)

A long narrow scope is passed through the bladder and up to the kidney. Stones along this route are fragmented with a laser or removed with a small "stone basket". This procedure does not require a cut in the skin and is usually performed as out-patient surgery.

Percutaneous Stone Removal

For very large or hard stones which are located in the kidney, a percutaneous (through-the-skin) approach may be required. This technique entails making a small incision and placing a scope directly into the kidney. The stone can then easily be seen and broken using ultrasound. Following this type of stone removal, a small tube drains the kidney during a short hospital stay.