Stones in the urinary tract or kidney
What are stones in the urinary tract or kidney?
Kidney stones (also called nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys.
Diet, excess body weight, some medical conditions, and certain supplements and medications are among the many causes of kidney stones.
Kidney stones can affect any part of the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the bladder. These generally form when urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.
How is it treated?
Treatment of kidney stones varies depending on the type of stone and its cause.
Most small kidney stones do not require invasive treatment. However, kidney stones that are too large to pass in the urine or that cause bleeding, kidney damage, or ongoing urinary tract infections may require more complex treatment. Some of them are:
- Surgery to remove very large kidney stones: A procedure called “percutaneous nephrolithotomy” involves the surgical removal of a kidney stone using small instruments and telescopes inserted through a small incision made in the back.
- Using an endoscope to remove stones: To remove a small stone lodged in the ureter or kidney, the doctor may insert a thin tube with a light and camera (ureteroscope) through the urethra and bladder until reach the ureter. Once the stone is located, special tools can catch the stone and break it into pieces that will be passed in the urine. Next, the doctor may place a small tube (stent) inside the ureter to improve swelling and promote healing.