How We Treat Kidney Stones (Kidney Awareness Month)

You may not have ever heard of renal calculus or a nephrolith, but you know what they are. Those are the scientific names for kidney stones. Sometimes medical professionals call the condition of having kidney stones nephrolithiasis, urolithiasis, or they may say you have urinary stones. Regardless of the name, kidney stones are quite common and can be remarkably painful. 

Dr. Floyd Seskin at Seskin Urology in Aventura, Florida, has helped many patients who have kidney stones. He can tell you what type of stone you have and suggest an effective treatment, as well as help you understand your risk of developing another stone. 

4 types of kidney stones

The most appropriate treatment for a kidney stone depends on several factors, such as the size of the stone, where it is located in your urinary tract, and importantly, what the stone is made of. There are four common types of stones. 

Calcium stones

The most common type of kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones and calcium phosphate stones. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common of the two. 

Most of the time, if there’s more calcium in your body than your bones need, it’s flushed out through your urine. But sometimes the calcium stays and forms a stone. Your diet, vitamin D level, having had certain surgeries, and some medical conditions can increase your risk of developing calcium stones. 

Struvite stones

If you’ve recently had a urinary tract infection or some other type of infection, you could develop a struvite stone. They can grow quickly and can become quite large. 

Uric acid stones

When your urine is more acidic than it should be, you’re at risk of developing uric acid stones. Men are more likely than women to get this type of kidney stone, and it may be related to your diet. 

Cystine stones

This is a rare type of kidney stone, and is caused by a genetic disorder called cystinuria. 

Treatments for kidney stones

Dr. Seskin uses various diagnostic techniques, such as blood tests, X-rays, and CT scans, among others, to determine what type of stone you’re most likely to have, as well as where it is and what size it is. That information helps him determine the best treatment. 

A small kidney stone may be best treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and drinking extra water. A larger stone, or one that is blocking your urinary tract, may call for a more aggressive treatment plan. 

One potential treatment is shock wave lithotripsy, which involves the use of shock waves to break the stones into small pieces that can be more easily passed through your urinary tract. It’s most often performed while you’re under general anesthesia. 

Ureteroscopy also requires anesthesia, and when he performs this procedure, Dr. Seskin uses a long tube-shaped tool to either break up the stone or remove it. 

Less commonly, Dr. Seskin may suggest you undergo a procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy in order to remove your kidney stones. This is a more involved procedure and usually requires a two- to three-day stay in the hospital. 

If you’d like to learn more about your kidney stone treatment options, book an appointment at Seskin Urology today. Simply give us a call at 305-792-6905 between 8:30am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, and we will be glad to schedule your appointment.

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