A kidney stone is a hard mineral deposit made of minerals and acid salts. These small stones form when urine crystallizes, due to an imbalance in the urine, to form a concentrated deposit in the urinary tract. Some of the substances that could form a kidney stone include calcium, oxalate and uric acid. Typically, passing a kidney stone is very painful, but does not cause any permanent damage. Surgery is rarely needed to remove a kidney stone, but could be recommended if the stone becomes stuck in the urinary tract.
Risk factors for kidney stones
- Poor eating habits
- Family history
There are many symptoms associated with kidney stones, but the most common ones are
- Painful urination
- Discolored urine
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lower back pain
- Constant feelings of needing to urinate
If you notice any combination of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor. While kidney stones aren’t serious medical complications, they can become more serious if not treated properly or if they don’t pass in a timely manner.
Typically, kidney stones are diagnosed using an ultrasound or a CT scan.
Wesley's stone treatment center uses specialized technology to destroy kidney stones using shock waves instead of surgery. Called lithotripsy, the treatment is an outpatient procedure that takes about one hour plus a few hours of preparation and recovery time.
The patient is given a general anesthetic, and then is transferred to the lithotron bed, which is a mobile lithotripsy unit. A computerized imaging system pinpoints the kidney stone's exact position. Then shock waves are triggered and harmlessly penetrate the body to break the stone into very small pieces. These pieces are eliminated in the urine over the following weeks.
To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our kidney stone treatment program, please call (316) 962-2780 to get in contact with one of our physicians.