What are the best and latest treatment options for kidney stone patients?
Checking for Kidney stone
If you have symptoms related to kidney stones, then imaging is needed which is the first step. For many years, the standard care included abdominal X-ray which is known as intravenous pyelogram. The doctor can also suggest blood tests which include renal function. Your doctor can also do a urinalysis and if the infection is there then urine culture will be sent.
Keeping Kidney stone pain under control
If you are experiencing intense discomfort of kidney stones, pain control is extremely important. Different pain relief medications are given to patients who have acute renal colic. It compared nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with paracetamol or opioids. If you are encountering such an issue then seek medical help right away to get a better understanding of what you need to do.
Medical therapy for kidney stones
Most evidence suggests that stones that are less than 10mm in diameter have a reasonable chance of passing through the urinary tract. You might be given medical expulsive therapy with the use of alpha-blocker medication like tamsulosin. It is essential to understand that it is an off-label use of the drug. You should discuss the best possible options with the urologist.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy
All shock wave lithotripsy machines deliver shock waves through the skin to the stone in the kidney. Most of the energy but not all of it is delivered to the stone. Stone size is the greatest predictor for treatment success.
- Stones less than 10 mm in size can be successfully treated
- For stones 10 to 20 mm in size, additional factors are considered such as stone composition and stone location.
- Stones larger than 20 mm are not successfully treated with ESWL.
Stone in the lower third of the kidney can prove to be problematic because stone fragments may not be cleaned from the kidney. The fragments can pass easily from the upper third and middle of the kidney.
The surgeon gains access to kidney stones with ultrasound and a small incision is made in the lower back. A power source such as laser or ultrasound will break the stones into fragments that flush out from the kidney through an internal stent or external tube.
This treatment is considered best for larger kidney stones, lower pole renal stones larger than 1 cm, or complex stones. Some of the possible complications are infection, bleeding, and injury to surrounding organs.
During ureteroscopy, the surgeon places a tube through the urethra and bladder into the ureter which goes all the way up to the kidney. During the process, flexible instruments are used that helps the surgeon to get the inside view of the urethra. The urologist can even place a postoperative stent for a few days.