Kidney stones refer to solid masses made up of tiny crystals. There can be one or more stones in the kidney or ureter at the same time. idney stones typically leave the body in the urine stream, and a small stone may pass without causing symptoms. If stones grow to sufficient size (usually at least 3 millimeters (0.12 in) they can cause blockage of the ureter. This leads to pain, most commonly beginning in the flank or lower back and often radiating to the groin. This pain is often known as renal colic and typically comes in waves lasting 20 to 60 minutes.
Signs and Symptoms
The main symptom is severe pain that starts suddenly and may go away suddenly. Other symptoms include:
Blood in the urine
Abnormal urine color
The major causes of kidney stones are:
Not drinking enough fluids
People with urinary tract infection
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotrispy (ESWL) uses highly focused electro magnetic waves projected from outside the body to crush kidney stones anywhere in the urinary system. The stone is reduced to sand-like particles that can pass in the urine. Large stones may require more than one sessions. It can be used for patients of all age groups and those who have heart and breathing problems. However, the procedure is contraindicated for pregnant women. ESWL by 4th generation "SIEMENS LITHOTRIPTER" with ultrasound attachment helps to treat even radioluscent stones, which are not visible in normal fluoroscopy Lithotripters.
Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy (PCNL) is performed under epidural or spinal anaesthesia. Percutaneous ( through skin) removal of kidney stones (lithotomy) is accomplished through the most direct route. A telescope along with the mechanical lithotripter in inserted to break the stone into fine particles so as to achieve a stone-free status in large and complicated stones. This procedure usually requires hospitalization, and most patients resume normal activity within 2 weeks.
Ureterorenoscopic Lithotrispy with Holmium Laser is performed under epidural and spinal anaesthesia to treat stones located in the middle or lower ureter. A small, fiberoptic instrument (ureteroscope) is passed into the ureter. Large stones are fragmented using 100-Watt Coherent Holmium Laser. The laser fragments the stone into sand like particles, which are then flushed out through the natural urinary passage. The advantage of Holmium Laser is its ability to fragment stones of all compositions with precision. Thus, it is the most effective laser for the treatment of urinary stones. Patients are generally admitted on the same day of the treatment and are discharged next day, which means only 24 hours of hospitalization is required.