About 11% of men develop kidney stones during the course of their lives, so they certainly represent a clear and present danger if you’re male. If you’re dealing with kidney stones now, you know how uncomfortable, if not downright painful, this condition can be, and you want solutions. Fast.
As a practice that focuses on men’s health and urology, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Robert J. Cornell and our team are experts in handling common men’s health conditions like kidney stones.
Whether you’re in the throes of dealing with a painful kidney stone or you just want to learn more so that you’re prepared, here’s a look at some of your treatment options.
Passing the stone naturally
If we’ve diagnosed kidney stones and determined that they’re under 10 millimeters in size, we will likely recommend waiting to see if you can pass the stone naturally. If you’re experiencing discomfort, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications can do a good job of minimizing the pain.
We suggest that you drink as many fluids as possible to keep flushing your urinary tract. We might also turn to medical expulsive therapy, in which we use medications like alpha blockers to help the stone pass.
When intervention is needed for kidney stones
There are many reasons why a kidney stone can become problematic and require our intervention, such as when the stone is:
- Larger than 10 millimeters
- Located in an area where it isn’t flushing readily
- Causing urinary tract infections
- Leading to blood in your urine
- Causing too much pain
If any of these conditions apply to your kidney stone(s), it might be time to intercede to get rid of the potentially dangerous obstruction.
Types of treatments for kidney stones
There are several ways we can get rid of problematic kidney stones, including:
Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)
With ESWL, we send shock waves into the stone to break it apart, leaving behind smaller pieces that are easier to flush out. This approach doesn’t require any incisions.
If you have a stone that isn’t a candidate for ESWL (it might be larger than 20 millimeters, for example), we can turn to percutaneous nephrolithotomy. With this technique, we make a small incision in your lower back to create a tunnel directly to the stone. We access the stone, either breaking it apart and removing it or leaving the smaller pieces to flush out naturally.
If the stone is located in an area that we can access through your urethra, we might perform a ureteroscopy. With this procedure, we thread a scope up to where the stone is located, and then we break apart the stone with a power source.
As you can see, there are several options for helping you to find relief from a problematic and painful kidney stone.
For more information on these kidney stone treatments, we invite you contact our office in Houston, Texas, to schedule an appointment.