When a person develops a kidney stone, they experience an extreme amount of pain and distress. It can be difficult to pass a kidney stone on your own, so many people throughout the Inland Empire including the Rancho Mirage area seek treatment options for their kidney stones.
This is especially important if it is a recurring issue. There is a variety of treatment options available for kidney stones. The urologist will evaluate the size, placement and type of stone before deciding which treatment option is best for the individual patient.
What are the Treatment Options for Kidney Stones?
The first option is often referred to as Watchful Waiting. Many patients do not realize that 85 percent of kidney stones can be passed by the patient on their own. However, nearly 50 percent of people choose another treatment option. In the Watchful Waiting option, the doctor monitors the patient intermittently as the patient attempts to pass the stone.
In many cases, the kidney stone will pass within 72 hours. While waiting, patients must drink 3 quarts of water daily while remaining physically active. They also must take pain medications as directed by a doctor and urinate into a strainer in order to retrieve the stone for the doctor. Patients who develop a fever should contact their doctor immediately.
Another treatment option is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (or ESWL). This is the most common treatment option for kidney stones, and it is used on roughly 80 to 90 percent of patients. ESWL is used in order to send shock waves through the body and destroy the kidney stone, making it easier for the patient to pass the stone.
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy, or PNL, is another treatment option for kidney stones that patients may consider. During this procedure, the surgeon uses a nephroscope in order to break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces and remove it. This treatment option is recommended for patients who have a kidney stone that is 2 cubic centimeters or larger.
Finally, patients may opt to have a Ureteroscopic Stone Removal performed. In some cases, the kidney stone has passed into the ureter. Patients who have this occur may be interested in this treatment option and and remove it more easily from the patient’s body.
In many cases, kidney stones can be treated before an emergency arises. Patients who visit their urologist on a regular basis will find that it is easier to detect kidney stones early because they understand the signs and symptoms of the stones.
Patients who are prone to kidney stones can talk to their doctors about preventative methods as well as long-term treatment options that are available. To find out if you are at risk for developing kidney stones be sure to set up an appointment with your urologist as soon as possible.