The pain caused by kidney stones can be treated with non-prescription and prescription pain medication, bed rest, and drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Most stones pass through the system by themselves within six weeks, but some need to either be broken up into smaller pieces or surgically removed. Stones can be broken up using treatment techniques called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, cystoscopy, or percutaneous lithotripsy.
In extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, shock waves (high intensity ultrasound) pass through water pouches placed on the skin and are directed towards the stone. They break the stone into small pieces that can pass out through the ureter. You do not need to stay overnight at the hospital to have this procedure.
If the stone is in the bladder or the higher part of the ureter, it can be crushed using cystoscopy. In this procedure, your doctor will pass a viewing tube and a crushing device into the bladder or lower ureter. The crushing device can be used to pull out the stone, or it can break it up with laser or electric energy.
Stones that are too large to be removed as a whole can be broken up using percutaneous lithotripsy. For this procedure, you do not need to stay overnight in the hospital, but you will be given medication to sedate you. A viewing tube is inserted through an incision in the side of the body. The stone is then broken up with ultrasound or electric energy.
Surgery is only used in cases where the other procedures have not worked. This usually happens when stones are large or hard to reach. Surgery is done under general anesthesia. The doctor makes an incision into the side of the body, and another into the ureter or kidney to remove the stone. The incisions are then stitched up.
If the stone has formed due to problems with the metabolism, your doctor may prescribe a special diet as well as medications to control the problem. For example, taking allopurinol*, a medication that decreases the production of uric acid, helps prevent kidney stones composed of uric acid. This is the same medication that is prescribed for gout. Thiazide diuretics can prevent the formation of kidney stones made of calcium. Some people's bodies lack a chemical called citrate. Citrate supplements may help prevent kidney stones in these people.
Kidney stones can be prevented by drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water every day and by drinking fluids with meals. It is important to drink enough fluids so that urine appears almost colourless. Your doctor may also recommend cutting down on the amount of protein and salt in the diet.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Kidney-Stones