Learn more about our treatment options for kidney stones.
When it comes to kidney stones, prevention is the best medicine. There are many lifestyle changes you can make that help prevent kidney stones. Your health care provider can help you determine what dietary changes and other preventive measures will help in your specific situation.
Most kidney stones are small enough to pass without treatment. But in about 20 percent of cases, the stone is too large and may require treatment. If you have a kidney stone that won't pass naturally, we have various treatments available to help.
Lithotripsy is a procedure used to treat kidney stones that are too large to pass through the urinary tract. It works by sending focused ultrasound energy as shock waves directly to the stone. The shock waves break a large stone into smaller stones that will pass through the urinary system. Lithotripsy lets people with certain types of kidney stones avoid surgery. To find the stone, your provider may use a series of moving X-ray pictures. We may also use ultrasound to find the stone.
This procedure involves using a camera inside the body to remove the stone. Your surgeon would pass a tiny wire basket into the lower ureter, take hold of the stone and pull it free. This is an outpatient procedure, meaning you would go home the same day.
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
PCNL may be done before, after or instead of other treatments. PCNL removes larger stones through a small incision in your side. Your doctor places a viewing tube through your incision. The stone is sighted, shattered with a special device, if needed, and removed. Afterward, you’ll briefly have a small soft tube in your incision. This tube carries urine away from your kidney and out of your body. If you need this procedure your health care provider will discuss its risks and possible complications. You will be told how to prepare, and you will be told about anesthesia, which will keep you pain-free during treatment. You may spend one to three days in the hospital. The tube in your side will be removed during or shortly after your hospital stay. A follow-up visit in three months will ensure that your stone is gone. Later visits will help your health care provider spot new stones if any form.