Kidney Stones

KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals that form in the kidneys, potentially causing extreme pain as they pass through the urinary system. The location of these stones, and therefore the pain, may shift as it moves through the urinary system.

How The Y Factor Can Help

Initial Assessment

The Y Factor prioritizes the scheduling of these patients due to the urgent nature of the situation. This assessment encompasses review of diagnostic imaging and a consult with the medical provider to diagnose the reason for the pain and the size and location of the stone.

Pain Management

The Y Factor will address the comfort and pain level of the patient and then proceed with the treatment of the condition. Pain management encompasses appropriate medication, and in extreme cases, a stent or internal drainage tube used to relieve the obstruction and pain. Once the pain is under control, then more permanent treatment options will be pursued.

Treatment Options

Treatment options depend on the size and location of the stone combined with the pain level the patient is experiencing.

Shock Wave Lithotripsy

Sound waves are used to break up the larger stones into smaller fragments that can more easily pass through the urinary system.

Urethroscopy

A scope is used through the urethra to break up stones.

Expulsion Therapy

Medication is prescribed and the patient is closely monitored until the stone passes through the urinary system. This option is the primary choice if the stones are small or if the pain level is manageable.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs.

  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin.

  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity.

  • Pain upon urination.

  • Pink, red or brown urine.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Persistent need to urinate.

  • Fever and chills if an infection is present.

  • Urinating small amounts.

  • Pain fluctuating in intensity or coming in waves.

Men's Health Clinic

Kidney Stones | Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, kidney stones can remain silent in the kidneys until they move. Sometimes we are alerted to a silent kidney stone when blood is detected in the urine. A simple x-ray can pick up most kidney stones, even silent kidney stones.

Not necessarily. The kidney stone simply could’ve moved into a position which does not cause pain.

Some stones pass within a week, while others can take months to pass.

Smaller stones are more likely to pass through the system easier than larger stones. Stones that are one mm to five mm are considered smaller stones.

A very small percentage of stones can be dissolved, but most stones are calcium based which are not dissolvable.

Yes, we use medications to help pass the stones and this is called expulsive therapy.

Two common surgical procedures are available. One procedure involves sending soundwaves to the stone (lithotripsy) to break the stone into dust. The other procedure involves passing a scope through the bladder to the stone and breaking the stone with a laser.

No, the lithotripsy soundwaves pass through the body releasing no energy until it reaches the stone. All of the energy with lithotripsy is released on to the stone.

Yes, all patients are given a light anesthesia to remain comfortable and still throughout the procedure.

The stones are now in smaller pieces and more easily pass with expulsive therapy.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and patients experiences more pain then lithotripsy. The procedure may require placement of an internal tube (stent) for 7-to-10 days.

The greatest risk of lithotripsy is that the stones do not break. Some stones are too hard for the sound wave. Lithotripsy breaks up approximately 70% of stones. Ureteroscopy is capable of breaking up soft stones and hard stones. Ureteroscopy is more invasive with the risk of injury to internal organs.

The Y Factor closely monitors patients in order to prevent future acute kidney stone pain. We perform blood test, urine tests, and crystallography to monitor the possibility of future stones. That information is used to change the diet, reducing the risk for future stones. Occasionally we will add medication to reduce the risk for future stones.

Many people think that back pain must be a muscular, skeletal, or spinal issue. What is underappreciated is that the urinary tract (kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate) can cause the same symptoms of back pain. If your back pain is dramatically affected by body position or movement, it is more likely to have a muscular or skeletal origin. However, if your back pain is more of a constant or intermittent but not affected by movement it is more likely urinary tract pain. Our evaluation seeks the source for your pain.

The fever of 101.4° or higher may be due to a urinary tract infection and you are at risk for developing a kidney infection. You need to start antibiotics as soon as possible to prevent a kidney infection.

Want more information?

Join our mailing list for more information on this and other urological wellness topics.

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST >