Kidney stone treatment varies from one person to another. Certain conditions will affect how one is treated from kidney stones. There are cases when the stones are left alone to pass on their own while in other cases, immediate intervention is needed. The decision comes down to the GP or the urologist and the type of stones one has. There are five options for kidney stone treatment.
Natural Kidney Stone Removal
One option to remove kidney stones is through natural means. Many people prefer this treatment option as it does not involve medication or procedures that can cause harm to the body. As with any other medical treatment and medication, there are risks involved and by passing the stones naturally, you can avoid infection, kidney damage and other complications.
To remove kidney stones naturally, you will need to drink plenty of fluids, particular water. This dilutes your urine to make it clear and lessen the chances of crystals from forming. When formations have occurred, they can be passed in the urine, without medication. However, it can be painful so painkillers may be necessary. When the stone is too large to pass naturally, you may need to undergo other forms of treatment.
Medical Treatments for Kidney Stones
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
This treatment uses shock waves targeted to kidney stones that are up to 20mm in diameter. It breaks them down into smaller pieces to enable them to pass in the urine. It does not involve invasive procedures, but may not be safe for people with infections, bleeding disorders or skeletal abnormalities. To locate the stone, x-ray or ultrasound is necessary, which is not safe for pregnant women.
Also known as RIRS (retrograde Intrarenal Surgery), it involves passing a thin telescope through the urethra and into the bladder and then passing through the ureter to remove the stone that is lodged in the ureter. If the stone is too large to be removed, the surgeon may use laser to fragment the stones. This treatment is usually done for ureteral stones that are located close to the bladder and is effective for stones not more than 15mm in diameter.
This method involves a small incision in the back where a nephroscope and other instruments will be inserted to get to the kidney or ureter. The stone is either pulled out or broken into smaller fragments using a laser to be removed afterwards.
It is rare that a person will need open surgery to remove the kidney stones. Only 1% of the cases require this treatment to remove very large and very hard stones.
With these treatments, you can have better chances of being treated for kidney stones. Make sure, though, that once the stones have been removed, you will maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent stones from forming in the future.