What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney Stones, also known as renal calculi, are the hard masses of salts and minerals detected in the kidney. Kidney Stones form when the dissolved salts and minerals are present in very high volumes in the urine. Though the stones form in the kidney, yet they can travel to other parts of the urinary tract causing severe problems.

An image depicting kidney stones

Kidney Stones vary in sizes and can be as small as a dot or as big as the entire kidney. The presence of stones in the urinary bladder is of not much problem as they can pass through the urine itself. The removal of stone through urine may be painful, but not as severe if it is present in some other body parts. 

Depending on the size and type, kidney stones can be easily removed via urine and cause no permanent damage. But there are cases when patients suffer a lot from the pain because of the large size of stones, which can often require a surgical intervention.


Types of Stones that can be treated by Medication

Before we get into surgeries, let’s first understand what type of stones can be cured by simply ingesting some pills (recommended by a doctor) and lifestyle changes.

Certain kind of kidney stones can be dissolved and get passed through the urethra during urine passage. Most of the doctors believe that kidney stones that are less than 10 mm in diameter have high chances of passing through the urinary tract. But such stones require pain relief treatment. 

The pain can become so severe that patients may require hospitalisation.  For controlling such pain, doctors recommend the patient with medications such as ibuprofen, ketorolac and narcotic. Other types of medications prescribed are for the speedy passage of kidney stones.

Most of the people housing the calcium stones must have the intake of enough fluid for avoiding any urinary infection and must opt for medications after the consultation with the doctor.

People suffering from the uric acid stones can opt for the medication to reduce the pain and nullify the chance of having another uric acid stone.


Why should you consider an immediate treatment for Kidney Stones?

Patients suffering from any of the symptoms must consult the doctor as soon as possible to prevent chronic kidney diseases. All the kidney stones, whether large or small in size, will ultimately result in chronic infections and blockage of the ureters. 

This problem usually causes a lot of suffering for the patient as he undergoes unbearable pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, bleeding that may lead to an incurable condition. The delay can cause the following chronic problems:

  • Any delay in the treatment of kidney stones can damage the entire kidney.
  • Those who have a kidney stone have a 50% probability of housing a second stone if there is any sort of delay in treatment.
  • Neglecting kidney stones can cause chronic kidney disease and also other health problems like Anemia
  • Migration of the stone from kidney to the bladder can block the urine passage that leads to backing up of the urine back to kidney causing infection and contamination.
  • If left untreated, kidney stones can cause bleeding in excess from the urine.
  • The loss of renal function can take place due to pressure on filtering units of kidney.

Your delay of sometime can lead to regret of lifetime. To avoid any regrets, please consult the doctor as soon as possible to avoid the above problems. 

Surgical Procedures to get rid of kidney stones

While doctors try to get kidney stones treated through medicine, in some cases there might arise a need to consider a surgical procedure. 

Now we know that the mere mention of the word “surgery” can be enough to cause anxiety among a lot of patients. However, it’s important to realize that in some cases, a surgery is the best possible option for nullifying the formation of another stone and worse, kidney damage. As they often say, a stitch in time saves nine.

Moreover, most advanced surgical procedures for removing kidney stones are quite non-complex and are mostly day procedures (same day discharge). Here’s a brief look at some of the procedures undertaken for addressing kidney stones.

Shockwave Lithotripsy (SWL)

SWL is very useful in getting rid of the stones from Kidney and ureter and is the most favoured Surgery for small to medium-sized kidney stones. 

The treatment is the outpatient procedure, which uses anaesthesia in which the doctor blasts the kidney stones into smaller crystals. 

The patients usually prefer this process because the smaller pieces then easily pass through the urine, causing not much pain and further damage.

Advantages of Shockwave Lithotripsy (SWL)

  • Minimal postoperative discomfort
  • No incisions or invasive procedures
  • The excellent success rate for most small- to medium-sized stones
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Easy and fast scheduling

Ureteroscopy and Laser Lithotripsy

This surgical method is usually a preferred choice of patients housing small to medium stones in any part. The procedure completes in a time interval of a day and has the fastest possible  recovery. 

The surgery starts under general anaesthesia by inserting a small tube into the bladder through the urinary opening. From there, it goes up to the ureter and drains the urine from the Kidney to the bladder. After finding the exact location of stones, a laser is targeted on them to break them into grains crystals. 

These tiny pieces easily get extracted through normal urine flow.  Doctors place a small tube referred to as a stent in the Kidney for the draining purpose. The doctors remove this stent after three days without any anaesthesia and in some hours.

Advantages of Ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy

  • Can be performed without stopping the blood-thinning medication
  • No incisions
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Excellent results for the removal of small to medium-sized kidney stones
  • Versatility and capability of treating some Kidney stones that won’t break with SWL
  • Easy and fast scheduling

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

Doctors perform this simple treatment to get rid of very complex and large kidney stones. PCNL is also a good option for those patients that are housing a large number of small Kidney stones. 

The process is considered as the inpatient procedure as it has the requirement of getting hospitalized for 1-2 days, depending on the case profile.

Performed under the supervision of urologist and radiologist, PCNL is an invasive treatment that involves the creation of a channel in the drainage system of the Kidney using the small incision in the back. 

The second steps include the usage of specialized equipment to shatter the stones for plucking them out of the Kidney. The doctors end the process by leaving a drainage tube in the Kidney temporarily.

Advantages of Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

  • Best for getting rid of stones completely with one procedure
  • Effective and very safe

Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery (RIRS)

This treatment for removing the kidney stone uses a viewing tube known as fiberoptic endoscope. 

The endoscope is placed into the bladder through the urethra and then enters the urine collecting part of the kidney through the ureter. It is a very simple procedure that can be done under general anesthesia.

Advantages of Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery (RIRS)

  • Faster Recovery
  • Eliminates the prolonged pain after surgery
  • Quickest treatment to get rid of kidney stones

Ultimately, the choice of procedure is made by your doctor based on a variety of conditions, ranging from the type and size of stones, to other pre-existing conditions of the patient.

Here is a short video of Dr. Virender Dhankar, Urologist & Kidney Transplant Surgeon talking about the risks of delaying the treatment

Delaying kidney stone treatment can become critical. Visit your doctor and get your treatment at an early stage

Act Now, Choose Ayu Health

Ayu Health is India’s most trusted network of hospitals. Our in-house kidney stone experts are among the best in their field and will suggest the most optimal kidney stone treatment (surgical or non-surgical) for the patients depending upon their case.

Ayu Health hospitals offer all advanced and effective Kidney removal treatments. We not only have a skilful doctor’s team but also carry mandatory certifications from the government authorities. NABH, India’s premier hospital accreditation authority, recognizes all the AyuHealth hospitals.

Ayu Health offers 100% fixed price packages for all surgical procedures, which means patients can focus solely on recovering, and not a rising bill. Ayu Health hospitals also provide patients with a dedicated Ayu Mitra who provides patients any type of assistance they need within the hospital, ranging from registration to insurance documentation.

If you are looking for a leading doctor who can treat and perform effective kidney removal treatment and suggest the best methods to get the procedure just right for you in India, you can call +91 – 6366 100 800 or visit us at https://www.ayu.health/surgery/Kidney-Stone-10.