March 10, 2008

Surgical Treatment for Kidney Stones

Posted in Category : Men's Health

Most kidney stones – the smaller ones pass through the body as urine without requiring surgery, as long as the patient drinks lots of water such as 2-3 quarts/day. This is actually a form treatment of kidney stones.

However, not everyone is fortunate and medication and surgery may be considered in cases wherein: the stones are too large to be passed through the system and may hamper urination; the pain is too painful to bear; there already is blood and tissue damage; and the medication is unable to break down the stones and the stones just keeps on getting larger.

In such cases, the doctor may opt for treatment of kidney stones thru ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy-lithotripsy (PCN), and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL).

Ureteroscopy for Stone Removal:

Ureteroscopy is a treatment of kidney stones for stones found to be in the mid and lower parts of the ureter. A ureteroscope is passed through the urethra and bladder then into the ureter. This fiberoptic instrument is able to pinpoint the location of the stone. After locating, a device may be used to break the stones or use an instrument that sends a shock wave into the ureter. Recovery may take a few days.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL):

ESWL is the usual procedure in the treatment of kidney stones. Shock waves are used to shatter or break the stones into tiny pieces which will then be easier for the body to eliminate through urination. Initially, the stones are located first using x-rays or ultrasound. The, ESWL process is followed wherein the person is laid supinely on a cushion or tub of water and shock waves are applied outside the body which resonates through the skin and body tissues and eventually the kidney stones. ESWL may be done easily and the patient need not be confined. The recovery period is usually only for a few days if no more complications arise. Sometimes, the broken stones can cause blockage in the urinary tract and the doctor may have to insert a tube to aid the passing of the stones.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Lithotripsy (PCN):

PCN is a procedure used when the kidney stones are larger than what can be treated in ESWL. Here, an incision is made into the kidney from the back and makes use of a nephroscope to determine the location of the stone. The surgeon then removes the stones manually. This treatment of kidney stones requires the patient to be confined in the hospital and the recovery time may be up to a couple of weeks.

There is a specific treatment of kidney stones depending on the size of the stone. Learn more about the correct procedure for you and find out the possible complications of each before undergoing treatment.