Simply stated kidney stone disease is where stones form in the kidneys. The kidneys act as filters and separate chemicals from the blood, which are then excreted in urine, if however, these chemicals build up in the kidney, a stone can be formed.
What Are Kidney Stones?
They are rock like, mineral substances embedded in a small amount of protein. Most are composed or calcium oxalate, but they may be composed of calcium phosphate or uric acid or other chemicals. The stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.
Why Do Stones Occur?
There are conditions in the urine (like those caused by not drinking enough water) that make crystals prone to form, which contribute to stone formation. Some forms of stone disease have a genetic basis (it runs in the family), while others show a strong dependence on environmental or nutritional factors for their origin.
What Are the Symptoms of Stone Disease?
The size, shape, and location of the stone can cause many different symptoms. Many stones cause sudden severe pain, bloody urine, obstruction, or infection. Others cause nausea or frequent, burning urination. Often there is a flank (side) pain or tenderness and fever.
ESWL (Extracerporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy) Treatment:
The vast majority of kidney stones are small enough, about the size of a grape seed, to pass naturally, a wait and see approach called expectant therapy. It involves drinking lots of water to help flush the stone, urinating into a strainer to catch the stone, and following a lifetime program to prevent future stones.
If you have a uric acid or cystine stone, your doctor may prescribe medications to dissolve your stone. You may take these medication for the rest of you life. If you have an infected stone, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. When your infection is under control, your doctor can remove your stone.
If your kidney stone won’t pass naturally or can’t be dissolved with medications, you may be a good candidate for ESWL. This noninvasive procedure safely and effectively hatters your stone without surgery, using an energy source outside your body. With pinpoint accuracy it aims shock waves directly at your stone, making it crumble into sandlike particles, which then pass easily through your urinary tract. It may take more than one ESWL procedure to ensure fragmentation, or you may need an additional procedure, such as insertion of a tube in the urethra to help passage of larger stones, before ESWL can be done.
What Is Lithotripsy?
Lithotripsy is a method of crushing a kidney stone while it’s still inside your body. It’s a noninvasive procedure that doesn’t require incisions. During lithotripsy, carefully directed shock waves pass harmlessly through your body and hit the stone, causing it to crumble into sandlike particles. These particles can then pass easily out of your urinary tract.
What is an Intravenous Pyelogram?
An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray exam of your urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, and bladder). This test can help find stones or other problems with your urinary tract. There’s a small amount of radiation with an IVP. But the benefits of this test far outweigh any risks.