What are Kidney Stones?
A kidney stone is a hard, rock-like mass made of minerals. Because kidney stones travel through the urinary system, they can also be found in the bladder and ureters (which channel urine from the kidney to the bladder).
Crystals can form and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. If enough of these crystals clump together, they form a stone.
Small stones pass out of the body unnoticed. Unfortunately, some stones continue to grow within the body for months or even years. When they break off and travel into the ureter, they can cause extreme pain.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
The sharp pain of kidney stones often begins suddenly and is felt in the back and side, in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. The pain may also spread to the groin.
Other symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in urine
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation during urination
- Cloudy or odorous urine
- Fever and chills
Kidney stones can damage kidneys and create urinary tract infections or other damage.
Schedule an appointment with a UR Medicine provider.Call (877) 517-8663
UR Medicine's Treatments for Kidney Stones
Diagnostic tests can include:
- Blood and urine tests to help detect any abnormal substances that might cause stones to form.
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a form of x-ray to provide pictures of the urinary system.
- Computed tomography (CT), or CAT scan, to provide detailed three-dimensional pictures of the affected organs.
- Renal ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create pictures of internal organs.
UR Medicine offers numerous advanced treatments:
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is a non-invasive treatment using shock waves directed toward the kidney stones, breaking them up into smaller stones that will be able to pass through the urinary tract.
- Olympus SoltiveTM Laser System, offered at Highland Hospital, delivers quick and efficient stone removal, which can translate into shorter procedure times and less patient discomfort.
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is a surgical approach used on larger stones or when ESWL is not effective. Kidney stones are removed with a nephroscope that is inserted through a small incision in the back.
- Ureteroscopy (URS) is used when the stone is lodged in the ureter. The stone is removed with a small ureteroscope that is passed through the bladder and into the ureter.
- Parathyroid surgery might be performed when stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands. A growth on the parathyroid gland may cause an excessive production of calcium, leading to the formation of kidney stones.
What Sets Us Apart?
Our multidisciplinary Kidney Stone Clinic provides a one-stop shop for patients with kidney stone disease.
UR Medicine urologists continue to lead the field of robotic surgery. We’re the only institution in upstate New York to offer the fourth-generation, single-port surgery, which can mean less pain and faster post-operative recovery.
As a leading academic medical center, we provide our patients with the latest treatment options. We’re involved in several research projects, including worldwide, multi-center clinical trials for newer medications.
We also collaborate with the Center for Community Health & Prevention (CCHP) to help kidney stone patients with dietary modification. The CCHP multidisciplinary clinical team works with patients one-on-one to create personalized nutrition plans to help prevent kidney stones.
Consultation for patients with kidney stones can now be made 24 hours a day with a simple phone call: (877) 517-8663.
Our expert medical staff, including board-certified physicians, nurses, and lithotripsy technologists, are available to answer your questions and make recommendations for treatment or referrals.
We work closely with our nephrology colleagues who focus on preventing kidney stones. Often times our patients will be followed by both urology for stone removal/extraction and nephrology for prevention of further stones.
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