Kidney stones are basically passed on their own without causing any long term problems. If you are in pain then the doctor can remove the stones by breaking them up. The treatment depends on how big and where your stone is and what symptoms you have. If the stone does not bother you, the doctor can suggest you wait for 2-4 weeks to let it pass on its own. The doctor may ask you to increase your fluid intake to help flush it out of your body. The doctor can ask you to catch the stone in a strainer when you go to pee. A lab can test this for minerals to check if the medication can prevent stones.
Medicines to Treat Kidney Stones
If you are in too much discomfort, you can manage the symptoms while waiting for the stone to exit. You can take help of over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. You might need a drug to ease out nausea.
Calcium channel blockers: These can relax your ureter, the tube via which the pee passes from the kidney to the bladder. A wider ureter can help the stone move quickly.
Potassium citrate: If the stone is made from the uric acid, the doctor can give you one the solutions to dissolve it.
Surgery can help you to treat kidney stones in a day. Medications will take a lot of time so, surgery is the best option.
You should have a procedure or the surgery to take out the kidney stones if:
- You are in a lot of pain
- When the stone is blocking the flow of urine out of the kidney
- You are having urinary tract infections because of the stone
Also Read: Foods To Avoid With Kidney Stones
Types of Kidney Stone Surgeries
These three treatments can be used to treat kidney stones:
- Shock wave lithotripsy
- Open surgery
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy
Shock Wave Lithotripsy
Shock wave lithotripsy is a technique which is used to treat the kidney stones and ureter which does not require surgery. Instead, high energy shock waves are passed via the body which is used to break the stones into pieces like small grains of sand. Because of the small size, these pieces can pass via the body along with urine.
There are 2 ways by which you can remove stones with the help of shock wave treatment. In one method, the patient is placed in the tub of lukewarm water. Using the x-rays to pinpoint the location of the stones, the body is positioned so stones are targeted precisely. In the second method, the patient lies on the cushion via which the waves pass. Around 1-2 thousand shock waves are required to crush the stones. The total duration of the treatment is 60 minutes.
Once the anesthesia is given you will feel asleep, the doctor will insert the tip of ureteroscope into the urethra. Once the urethra is in your bladder, the doctor will release a sterile solution via the tip of the scope. This will fill the bladder so the walls can be seen clearly. The doctor will gently guide the scope into the ureter. If you have a concern about the kidney, the scope can be moved all the way up into the organ. It might take 30 minutes to observe the urinary tract. If the procedure is done to break up the stone, the ureteroscope can take longer. A ureteroscopy can use a laser to break up kidney stones which can take about 90 minutes. The type of laser which is used with ureteroscope is known as holmium laser.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is the procedure which is used to remove the kidney stones from the body when they can’t pass on their own. A scope is then inserted via a small incision in the back to remove kidney stones. This surgery is used for larger stones and when other procedures like shock wave lithotripsy or ureteroscopy don’t work. When the doctor has access to kidney stones, the doctor will place a sheath into the kidney and break up the stones with the help of using a special instrument. When the fragments are small enough, the doctor can remove them. When the procedure is complete, the surgeon can leave the drainage tubes in the kidney. The doctor can send the kidney stones pieces to get analyzed or to check for the infection.
Prevention Of Kidney Stone
Taking proper hydration is key to prevent kidney stones. The doctor will recommend drinking enough water to pass 2.6 quarts of urine each day. This will increase the amount of urine you can pass which will helps to flush the kidneys. You can substitute fruit juice, lemon soda for water to increase the intake of water. If the stones are formed because of low citrate levels, citrate juices can prevent the formation of the kidney stones. Consuming foods rich in moderation and by reducing the intake of animal protein and salt can lower the risk of kidney stones. The doctor can also prescribe some medications to help prevent the formation of uric acid stones. If you are at the risk of kidney stones or if you have kidney stones, you should speak to your doctor and ask for the best methods for prevention.