Kidney stones can often develop without your knowledge and then cause severe pain as they start moving around your urinary tract. The specialists at Urological Associates in Colorado Springs, Colorado, can assess your kidney stones with state-of-the-art diagnostics and use minimally invasive procedures to break the stones up and remove them. Call Urological Associates today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online form.
Kidney stones, which your doctor may refer to as renal lithiasis or nephrolithiasis, are a buildup of minerals and salts that form hard lumps in your urinary tract. They can affect not just your kidneys but any part of the urinary tract from kidneys to bladder.
There are various types of kidney stones, including:
Kidney stones can form when your urine is too concentrated, which typically happens when you don’t drink enough water. Passing a kidney stone can be quite excruciating, but the stones don’t normally cause serious harm if diagnosed early enough.
Kidney stones can form and get larger without you knowing until they shift or get into your ureter (the tube that connects your kidneys and your bladder).
You might then develop a severe pain under your ribcage that affects your side and back. The pain might radiate to your lower abdomen and groin, coming in waves and varying in severity. Your urine might be:
You might also feel nauseous or vomit, want to urinate frequently, and more often, or only be able to pass small quantities of urine.
At Urological Associates, the specialists have considerable experience in helping people who have kidney stones. In some cases, just drinking plenty of water helps to flush the kidney stone out through your urine.
This might work for smaller stones, but larger stones are likely to cause a lot of pain as they travel down the urethra, and could get stuck. There are medications available called alpha-blockers that can help your kidney stone to pass.
Another approach to treating kidney stones is extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL). ESWL creates vibrations using sound, which breaks the stones into smaller fragments.
If the stone won’t or can’t pass, you might need surgery. Your specialist at Urological Associates may advise surgery to remove the stone if other approaches aren’t working, or if your stone is affecting your kidneys.
Your specialist at Urological Associates can break up smaller kidney stones using a type of endoscope called a ureteroscope. This passes into your urethra, where urine comes out of your body.
When the stone is visible on the monitor, it’s possible to use a special tool to break it up. They can also carry out laser lithotripsy, a ureteroscopy procedure that uses laser energy to break up your kidney stones.
Larger stones might need surgical removal, using a procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This involves taking out your kidney stone using minimally invasive surgery through small incisions in your back.
If you think you might have kidney stones, call Urological Associates today or book an appointment online.