Your physicians will review the type of your kidney stone and its location, as well as your medical history, lifestyle and overall health. Based upon this information, they will recommend care that may include medication or dietary changes or one of the following procedures:
Ureteroscopy is an incisionless procedure done under anesthesia that is used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. A small scope is passed through the urethra and bladder into the ureter (a small tube where urine passes from the kidney to the bladder). If a ureteral stone is visualized, it can be removed with a tiny basket or fragmented with a laser. Ureteroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems in the urinary tract. It is typically an outpatient procedure that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves directed from outside of the body to break a kidney stone into small pieces that can more easily travel through the urinary tract and pass from the body. ESWL is usually an outpatient procedure and does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Some stones that are very large do not effectively fragment with this modality.
Percutaneous Nephrolithomy (PCNL)
A PCNL is a minimally invasive treatment for kidney stones in patients with large stones, infected stones, abnormal anatomy or those who are not candidates for other treatment methods. Stones that are larger than 2 centimeters are typically treated with this method. In this procedure, 1-2 small incisions are made in the skin of the flank, and stones are fragmented and removed through a scope passed directly into the kidney. This procedure is done under anesthesia and requires a 1-2 night stay in the hospital.
No matter the treatment option, our care team will work closely with you to prevent kidney stones from recurring. We may recommend dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes that will help you to stay healthy and remain free from kidney stones in the future.