Kidney Stones

At Saint Vincent Medical Group, we strive to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for our patients to find support for their urology issues. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones.

What is a Kidney Stone?

A kidney stone is a hard crystal that forms in the kidney. They may be comprised of various substances, with the most common containing calcium. Types of kidney stones include:

  • Calcium
  • Uric Acid
  • Struvite
  • Cystine

Kidney stones vary in size and, once formed, may remain in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. The stone may move out of the body in the urine unnoticed or it may cause a backup of urine in the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra, causing extreme pain. When this occurs, it may result in kidney infection and damage.

Causes of Kidney Stones

There are many risk factors that contribute to the formation of kidney stones. While men are more likely than women to develop kidney stones, the prevalence and incidence in both has been steadily rising. Causes and risk factors include:

  • Dehydration
  • Diets High in Protein & Sodium
  • Obesity
  • Certain Medications
  • Underlying Medical Conditions, including but not limited to Hypertension, Diabetes, Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until the stone moves within the kidney or passes into the ureter. Pain caused by a kidney stone may come in waves, increasing and decreasing in severity, and change locations as the stone moves through the urinary tract. Symptoms include:

  • Painful & Frequent Urination
  • A Persistent Urge to Urinate
  • Difficulty Passing Urine
  • Blood in the Urine
  • Cloudy Urine
  • Foul-Smelling Urine
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fever

Treatment for Kidney Stones

Treatment options depend on the size of the kidney stone as well as the severity of pain associated.

  • Monitor – Symptoms will be closely tracked and observed for any change or improvement. It will be necessary to drink more fluids or receive fluids through an IV.
  • Medicate – Medications might be administered including diuretics, antibiotics, or pain relief medicine. Uric acid stones might be dissolved using Allopurinol.
  • Remove – When kidney stones are too large to pass on their own, become stuck, or cause extreme pain that can’t be mitigated, then removal is conducted via one of three methods including non-invasive sound wave lithotripsy, PCNL keyhole surgery, or ureteroscopy with laser.

Schedule Your Appointment

Saint Vincent Medical Group handles the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones. We will also discuss potential lifestyle changes to prevent kidney stones from forming. Get in touch with us to schedule your appointment.