Treatment can vary from medical to surgical.
Factors that influence the decision include:
- • The symptoms
- • Stone characteristics
- • The medical history
- • The kind of treatment available at the hospital and the expertise of your doctor
- • Personal preferences of the patient
If the stone is likely to pass with urine, the doctor can prescribe medications to ease this process. This is called conservative treatment.
If the stone continues to grow or causes frequent and severe pain, you will get active treatment.
1. Conservative stone treatment
A significant number of kidney or ureteral stones will pass while you urinate. However, depending on the size and location of the stone, it will take some time to pass the stone. You may suffer from renal colic when the stone moves. If you have a very small stone there is a 95% chance of passing this stone within 6 weeks. Two very important factors influence the passage rate:
- • The closer the stone is to the bladder, the higher the chance of passing it
- • The bigger the stone, the smaller the chance of passing it There are 2 common conservative treatment options: Medical Expulsive Therapy (MET) and dissolving uric acid stones. In both cases you get medication.
2. Active stone treatment
Kidney stones or ureteral stones should be treated if they cause symptoms. There are 3 common ways to remove stones: shock-wave lithotripsy , ureteroscopy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
Which active treatment option is best for you depends on many aspects. The most important factor is the symptoms the stone causes. Based on whether the stone is in your kidney or your ureter, the doctor may recommend different treatment options. If you don’t have symptoms you may still get treatment in case:
- • The stone continues to grow
- • You are at recurrent stone former
- • You have an infection
- • Your stone is significantly large
- • You prefer active treatment
Flexible ureteroscopy with laser dusting or fragmentation of stone has gained a lot of popularity during the last 10 years because of its high success in yielding stone-free kidney or ureter.
It is being performed more and more even for large kidney stones, being less invasive that percutaneous nephrolithotomy, causes less pain and is done without a single scar.
The success of the treatment depends considerably on the material being used and the expertise of the doctor carrying the treatment. For more information, feel free to check Dr Fouad Khoury’s portfolio.