Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Can Kidney Stones be Treated without Surgery?

Yes, kidney stones can be treated without surgery. However, that is solely dependent on how big the stones are and their location as well. Kidney stones are formed within the kidneys, then they move through the urinary tract as they are being passed out before they are excreted. They are hard deposits that are made of calcium, oxalate and uric acid, whenever they combine together. Treatment is not necessary, especially if the stones do not cause pain and discomfort. Still, it is important that you visit the doctor for advice on the best treatment with regards to the nature of your kidney stones. If they cause too much pain and are too big to be passed out easily, then surgery should be done.

Why Are Kidney Stones Painful?

Pain from a kidney stone is as a result of spasms created whenever they block the kidneys or urinary tract on their way out. Urine which is blocked from being excreted by the stones causes pressure and swelling on the kidneys, leading to pain too. The size of a kidney stone can either be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pea, or even bigger. The bigger the stone is, the more it is likely to get stuck. The ureter, where the kidney stones pass through is small and contains nerves. So, whenever an obstruction occurs, pain is created which surges through the body. The common areas where you will feel pain because of kidney stones include the trunk, groin, genital areas, and lower abdomen.

Which Is The Best Treatment For Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones can be treated in two major ways. The first includes pain medication and taking lots of water. The other involves a surgical procedure to break up the stones, so that they can be passed out with ease. Also, a percutaneous nephrolithotomy procedure can be done to remove stones through an incision made on your back. So, what is the determinant of what treatment you should receive? Their treatment depends on the type, size, and location of the stones. Pain medication and plenty of water are ideal for small-sized stones while surgery is the best treatment for larger stones. The type of a kidney stone is determined by what components have combined to form it. Most of the stones are made from calcium and oxalate, which account for about 85% of kidney stones. Other less common types are uric acid stone, struvite stones or cystine stone.

Diagnosis of Kidney Stone

There are several ways a doctor can implement to determine whether you have a kidney stone or not. At times, pain within the urinary tract can be confused with other urinary tract infections, whereas you only have kidney stones. Testing is also important to find out what type of kidney stones you have. A doctor may decide to take urine or blood samples to test for the components of your kidney stones. A blood test shows the levels of calcium or uric acid present in your blood. A urine test, on the other hand, tells how many substances you are excreting, used in forming kidney stones. The test needs to be done within a 24-hour period.

Other tests involve imaging or laboratory analysis of already passed stones. Imaging is essential for showing the location of the kidney stones while a lab analysis of passed stones reveals the makeup of the stones. Imaging options include; X-rays, CT-scans, an ultrasound, non-invasive testing and intravenous urography, which also requires an X-ray or CT-scan.

Conclusion

The best way to know what treatment you need for kidney stones is by making a doctor’s appointment. The doctor will run tests and employ the necessary procedures to determine the nature of your kidney stones. Several diagnosis procedures may be applied altogether to determine the makeup of the stones, their size and location as well. As per the results, your physician will recommend the best treatment and you can go back to a kidney-stones free life. However, that will only be the case once all the stones have been passed out. That can last through a few days or weeks, but if surgically removed, then the stones are no more.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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