Kidney Stones - Overview, Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment

Kidney stones are solid crystals generated by urine salts. They are also known as renal calculi. Kidney stones can obstruct the flow of urine, resulting in infection, renal damage, and even kidney failure. They can differ in terms of size and location.

Kidney stones affect roughly one in every ten males and one in every 35 women.

The likelihood of acquiring a second kidney stone after having one is between 5% and 10% per year. Within five years, thirty to fifty percent of persons who have a first kidney stone will get a second stone. The risk decreases after five years. Some people, on the other hand, keep getting stones their entire lives.



What are the causes and risk factors of kidney stones?

  • You've had kidney stones in the past.
  • Your family has a history of kidney stones.
  • You don't get enough water.
  • You consume a lot of protein, salt, and/or sugar.
  • You're either overweight or obese.
  • You've undergone gastric bypass surgery or another type of intestinal surgery.
  • You are suffering from polycystic kidney disease or another cystic kidney illness.
  • You have a disorder that causes excessive levels of cysteine, oxalate, uric acid, or calcium in your urine.
  • You have a disorder that produces bowel or joint swelling or irritation.
  • You use medications like diuretics (water pills) or calcium-based antacids.

Diagnosis of kidney stone

When an X-ray is obtained during a health visit, "silent" kidney stones, or those that cause no symptoms, are frequently discovered. Other people have their stones diagnosed when they experience severe pain while the stone is passing and require medical attention.

An ultrasound or a CT scan may be used to diagnose a stone if a person has blood in their urine (hematuria) or abrupt stomach or side pain. These imaging tests inform the doctor about the size and location of the stone.

When a stone is detected, a CT scan is frequently used in urgent care. It is employed because it provides a quick and accurate diagnostic.

Kidney stone symptoms

Many patients who have kidney stones do not show any symptoms. Some people, however, do experience symptoms, which may include:

a gripping pain in the back (also known as renal colic') - generally right below the ribs on one side, extending to the front and sometimes to the groin. The discomfort could be severe enough to produce nausea and vomiting.

  • urine with blood in it
  • urine that is cloudy or has a bad odor
  • If the urine becomes infected, you will have shivering, sweating, and fever.
  • Small stones, similar to gravel, flow through the urine, frequently generated by uric acid stones.
  • an urgent need to urinate as a result of a stone at the bladder outlet

Treatment

Shock wave therapy

Sound waves break down kidney stones during shock wave therapy, also known as shock wave lithotripsy. Sound waves are directed from the outside of the patient's body to the damaged area. The waves shatter the stones down into tiny pieces as they pass. The smaller bits are then flushed out of the body via urine. This therapy lasts around 45 to 60 minutes. During the surgery, individuals are also put under general anesthesia. This therapy procedure is painless and quick for the majority of individuals.

Laparoscopic surgery

This is a follow-up procedure to the original surgical treatment. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small incision in the patient's back and inserts a tube into the patient's back to reach the kidney. The stones are then surgically broken into little fragments and removed through the connected catheter by the doctor. Following that, a stent is used to hold the channel open.

Ureteroscopy

In the operating room, doctors administer a general anesthetic to the patient. A scope is used to look within the ureter, and a laser fiber is used to break up the kidney stone particles. The specialists next remove each portion of the body.

This treatment might take anywhere from 20 minutes to many hours, depending on the number of stones present inside. A stent is placed post-surgery to prevent the ureter from closing.