The kidneys create urine to filter waste through the body. Occasionally kidney stones—salts or other minerals that bond with the urine—will form. Kidney stones can vary in size, and they can cause pain if they enter the ureter, the small tube that leads to the bladder.
Kidney stones can affect people of all ages, and causes vary widely as well (e.g. family history, dehydration, diet, etc.).
Patients can often pass smaller stones on their own. For smaller stones, the course of treatment might include over-the-counter pain relievers, alpha-blockers, and/or increased water intake. Larger kidney stones might require surgical intervention (of which there are several procedures, including shockwave lithotripsy).
Our urologists work closely with patients suffering from kidney stones to develop the right treatment protocol. Ongoing support includes working with the patient on strategies that could help prevent the formation of future kidney stones.