Kidney stones are small calcifications that form in the inner lining of the kidney. This stone is often asymptomatic until it passes down into the urinary tract.
When it goes into the ureter, a tube that goes between the kidney and the bladder, that tube is very narrow and this stone will get stuck.
The patient may have blood in their urine and may be very uncomfortable and a lot of these patients will end up in our emergency department. Stones often will pass out through the urinary tract on their own if they’re small enough.
We also have a lot of minimally invasive treatment options for kidney stones.
One is just medication and time; hoping it’ll pass.For stones that are larger or that we don’t think are going to pass, we have ureteroscopy.
This is where we take a very narrow scope and are able to pass it through the bladder into the ureter and then we use a laser to break the stone
We also have shockwave lithotripsy which involves no invasion into the body. The patient lays on a special machine that passes shock waves. These waves are very powerful and they’refocused right on the stone.
They crack this stone into little pieces of sand and then the patient passes the sand out. And then the most invasive which is still minimally invasive is our percutaneous nephrolithotomy where we make a small incision in the patients back.