Kidney Stones

The kidneys work as filters to remove waste from the blood. As this happens they create urine. There are times that salts and minerals in the urine stick together causing kidney stones to be formed. A kidney stone can range in size from the size of a sugar crystal to a golf ball. A small stone may not even be noticed unless it causes a blockage. However, if they break loose and push into the ureters (ducts leading to the bladder) they can cause intense pain.

Kidney stones are seldom diagnosed until they cause pain. When they do cause pain it is usually  bad enough to send you to the ER. The abdominal pain associated with kidney stones is like the pain that may be caused with appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy. If the kidney stones move through the urinary tract they may cause severe pain in the back, stomach or groin, frequent and painful urination, blood in the urine, or nausea and vomiting.

If you are having pain and need to go to the ER several test may be run to decide what is the problem. These may include a CT scan, X-rays, ultrasound, and urinalysis. Blood test can also be helpful because they can help the doctors look for high levels of minerals that are often involved in forming kidney stones.

Your doctor may recommend pain medicine if he/she feels the stone is small enough to pass out of the body on its on. If this is the case you will need to drink plenty of water during this time. (eight to ten glasses a day)

The smaller the stone is the more likely it will pass on its own. If it is smaller than 5mm (⅕ inch) you have 90% chance of it passing without intervention. If the stone is between 5mm and 10mm the odds are only 50% that it will pass on its own. If the stone is too large to pass on its own there are several options available.

One of the most common treatments is Shock Wave Lithotripsy (SWT)

SWT uses high energy shock waves to break a kidney stone into many tiny pieces. These small pieces can move through the urinary tract. There may be side effects such as bleeding, bruising, or pain.

Another treatment is to give medication that relax the walls of the ureter allowing the stones to fit through more easily. Side effects are generally mild and may include headache or dizziness. There are also some types of medications that may help prevent new stones from forming.

  • Drinking too little water is the most common cause of kidney stones.
  • Diet also plays an important role.
  • Eating a lot of protein, sodium, and high-oxalate foods, such as chocolate or dark green vegetables, can boost the risk for kidney stones in some people.
  • Other risk factors include putting on weight and taking certain medications.

For more information on kidney stones and how to treat them you can contact the doctors at Out Patient Surgery East. You can receive excellent treatment for kidney stones and other same day surgeries you may need.

We would like you to consider us for your same day surgery needs. You can view us at www.osesurg.com or call 205-838-3888 for more information.

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