Different treatments are available for Kidney Stones, depending on the type of stone and the root cause. One simple way to move a stone through your urinary tract is to drink plenty of water to flush it out.
Stones that cannot be treated with more-conservative procedures, either because they are too large to pass on their own or because they cause bleeding, kidney damage or ongoing urinary tract infections that may need more invasive procedures.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
A commonly used method to treat kidney stones is using shock waves to shatter the stones into tiny pieces which are then passed out from your urine. Usually it requires sedation or light anaesthesia because of the moderate pain caused by the shock waves.
Some complications that may occur with ESWL are:
- Blood in the urine
- Bruising on the back or abdomen
- Bleeding around the kidney and other adjacent organs
- Discomfort as the stone fragments pass through the urinary tract
- At times, there may possibly be a need for a second round of ESWL or ureteroscopic stone removal as the stones may not shatter completely. After treatment, it may take months for all the stone fragments to pass.
When ESWL is not effective or the kidney stone are too big, the stone could be eliminated through a small incision in your back using an instrument called a nephroscope.
Ureteroscopic Stone Removal
This procedure may be used to remove a stone lodged in a ureter. The stone is entrapped with a small instrument (ureteroscope) and later passed into the ureter through your bladder. Ultrasound or laser energy can also be directed through the scope to smash the stone. These techniques work particularly well on stones in the lower part of the ureter.