What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidneys stones are a relatively common urologic condition that affects men and women alike. While they typically do not result in permanent damage, especially when treated in a timely manner, kidney stones can cause pain as they pass through the urinary tract and exit the body (in urine). These hard rock-like deposits form when urine in the bladder becomes concentrated, allowing minerals and salts to adhere together and crystalize. If you have difficulty passing kidney stones, or experience them on a recurring basis, your physician may refer you to a urology specialist.
Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian are board-certified urologists in Jacksonville, FL and offer specialized care to treat painful kidney stones. Our experts can evaluate your symptoms, provide advanced diagnostic assessments, and offer minimally invasive treatment options to treat and relieve kidney stone discomfort. To help minimize the risk of future issues, Drs. Kasraeian may also be able to identify factors contributing to kidney stone formation and reduce the chance of recurrence.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones may be small or larger in size and can cause a range of symptoms for patients. The most common symptom associated with passing kidney stones is pain in the back or on one side of the body. Pain may also occur during urination. Other signs and symptoms of kidney stones include:
- Frequent urination
- Blood in urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chills, fever, or sweating
- Pain in the lower back or side
- Pain during urination
- Chronic stomach discomfort
What are the Causes of Kidney Stones?
While anyone could potentially experience kidney stones, some people may be more at risk for the condition than others. Men and women with diets high in sodium, protein, and or sugar may be more likely to experience kidney stones. Other common risk factors for and causes of kidney stones are:
- History of kidney stones
- Genetic predisposition
- Being overweight
- Certain medications
- Kidney diseases or other renal conditions
Kidney Stone Treatment in Jacksonville, FL
When kidney stones do not pass on their own or when they create a very painful situation, a visit to a urologist may be in order. At your consultation, one of our Jacksonville, FL doctors will listen to your symptoms and review your medical history. A set of diagnostic tests may be performed to gain a better understanding of your kidney stone condition and renal health, including a blood test and urinalysis. As a leading center for urologic care, Kasraeian Urology offers the following kidney stone treatments:
Ureteroscopy: With this procedure, Drs. Kasraeian use a small scope to view inside the bladder and ureter to find, visualize, and diagnose kidney stones. This approach provides greater insight into the size and precise location of kidney stones. Our surgeons may then be able to remove painful kidney stones from the ureter with a minimally invasive technique.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): As one of the most common forms of kidney stone treatment, ESWL is a noninvasive treatment that uses sound wave pressure applied to the body to break down kidney stones located in the ureter or kidney itself. These shock waves section the stones into fragments that more easily pass through the urinary system. This option may not be ideal for larger kidney stones.
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): PCNL is a minimally invasive treatment often used to remove large or abnormally shaped kidney stones. With this specialized procedure, our skilled surgeons access the stone through a small incision made in the back. A thin scope is used to visualize the stone and a special tube is used to extract it from the kidney. Drs. Kasraeian are highly trained and skilled in performing PCNL procedures.
What Should I Expect Following Kidney Stone Treatment?
Aftercare and recovery after your kidney stone treatment will be contingent on the procedure that was performed. If you had a ureteroscopy, you will likely be allowed to return home the same day, and you might be able to resume your everyday activities a few days later. Coming home the same day and a similar timetable for returning to normal are probable after ESWL therapy. After PCNL, though, your recovery time will be longer. You may have to stay in the hospital for 1 – 2 nights, and a tube will remain in your kidney for up to a few days, which will allow urine to drain into a bag outside of your body and prevent you from bleeding. In most cases, your downtime will be 1 – 2 weeks. During this time, your Kasraeian Urology doctor or a member of the team will schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure you are recovering adequately from PCNL.
Kidney Stone FAQs
Who is at risk for kidney stones?
Individuals with a family history of kidney stones, those who have previously had kidney stones, those with certain medical conditions (gout, urinary tract infections), and those with diets high in salt and certain minerals are at a higher risk.
Can dietary choices affect kidney stone formation?
Yes, dietary choices play a significant role in kidney stone formation. Consuming too much salt, animal protein, and foods high in oxalate can increase the risk of stone formation.
How long does it take to pass a kidney stone?
With the help of our treatments, most small stones will usually pass within only a few days, though some could take up to a few weeks. Without treatment, some patients struggle with kidney stones for up to six weeks.
Can kidney stones be cured without surgery?
Many patients find that they are able to pass kidney stones without the need for medical treatment. However, in some cases, pain can be so severe that medical intervention may be necessary in order to break down the kidney stones.
Which form of kidney stone treatment is right for me?
The necessary form of treatment can vary from patient to patient, depending on their unique needs and preferences. For instance, some patients may prefer ESWL for its noninvasive treatment technique while others may require PCNL to treat larger, more complex kidney stones.
How long does it take to recover from percutaneous nephrolithotomy?
We traditionally recommend PCNL for patients who have sizable, multiple, or complex kidney stones. Due to this, the surgery can be a bit more involved than our other treatment options. The surgery itself can last anywhere from 1 – 3 hours, and patients will usually be required to stay at the hospital for observation for 1 – 2 nights. Typically, patients are able to resume normal activities within 1 – 2 weeks of the procedure.
Relieve Kidney Stone Pain
Modern advancements in urology have made way for faster, more effective kidney stone treatments. If you suffer from painful kidney stones, please schedule an in-person or telehealth consultation with Drs. Kasraeian at one of our Jacksonville or Jacksonville Beach, FL locations to learn about your treatment options, insurance coverage, and treatment pricing. Kasraiean Urology is a leader in urologic health and is dedicated to providing excellence in care for all patients.
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