Kidney stones can be immensely painful, and sometimes waiting for them to pass isn’t safe or possible. The team at Advanced Urology of South Florida perform lithotripsy, including both laser lithotripsy and noninvasive Electrocorporeal Shock Wave LithotripsyⓇ, to safely and effectively break up and remove kidney stones. If you have a kidney stone that won’t pass on its own, call the office in Delray Beach, Florida, or book an appointment online today.
Kidney stones form when your body doesn’t get enough water, causing calcium and other minerals in your urine to harden into pebble-like objects. There’s no one single cause of kidney stones, but there are several factors that can contribute to a water-to-mineral imbalance.
When you’re properly hydrated, urination expels the minerals in your urine from your body. If you don’t drink enough water or you sweat excessively, your body has a harder time diluting the minerals and they may clump together into kidney stones.
If you have a diet that’s high in salt, sugar, and animal proteins, you’re at a greater risk of developing kidney stones.
Because genetics can play a significant role in the development of kidney stones, it’s especially important for you to stay hydrated and pay close attention to what you’re eating if a parent or sibling has had kidney stones, or if you’ve gotten them before.
Small kidney stones can cause some discomfort but tend not to require a doctor’s visit. It’s often possible to pass smaller stones by drinking a lot of water, and the pain is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Large kidney stones, on the other hand, don’t pass on their own and usually require medical attention. Symptoms of large kidney stones include:
Your doctor may use a blood, urine, or imaging test to determine if your symptoms are the result of a kidney stone.
Lithotripsy is a procedure to break up kidney stones, either to remove them or to leave them in small enough pieces that you can pass them naturally.
If you have a medium-sized stone, you may be a candidate for Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL), a noninvasive treatment that uses high-energy shock waves to break up the stone.
If you have a larger stone, or if there are still large fragments after ESWL, your doctor may recommend laser lithotripsy. In laser lithotripsy, your doctor passes a tube into the urinary tract and breaks up the stone with a laser. The laser either turns your kidney stone into dust, which you’ll be able to pass on your own or into small fragments your doctor can remove during the procedure.
If you’re experiencing abdominal pain or trouble urinating and suspect a kidney stone, call Advanced Urology of South Florida or book an appointment online.