Kidney stones come in all shapes and sizes. You may have a stone that is too small to even cause symptoms, or one so large and painful that it requires immediate surgical removal. The treatment for your kidney stone(s) varies depending on the size and even the location of the stone within your kidney.
There are a number of options for treating your kidney stone, from pain medication to ease the discomfort as you wait for it to pass through your system to advanced surgical intervention for the larger, more complex stones.
Passing A Kidney Stone
Patients with smaller stones (typically around 2 to 5 mm in size) are usually able to pass the stones through the urinary tract with the aid of the following:
- Pain relievers – Your doctor may recommend over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen to relieve some discomfort of passing a small stone.
- Medication – Alpha blockers can help relax the muscles in the ureter, which will help you pass a small stone with less pain.
- Increased fluid intake – Drinking an increased amount of water (up to three quarts) may be recommended to help flush out the stone from the urinary tract.
WHAT IF YOUR STONE CANNOT BE PASSED?
Some kidney stones are too large to pass through the urinary system, cause more severe symptoms and may require immediate attention by your doctor.
Stones that are between the sizes of 5 mm and up to about 12 to 15 mm in size require intervention, including surgery. Depending of the size, location and type of kidney stone you have, Dr. Davalos may recommend one of the following minimally invasive treatment options:
Surgical treatment options for larger, more complex kidney stones include:
Regardless of the treatment option that is right for you, Dr. Julio Davalos believes that treament doesn't end once the stone is passed or removed. The creation of a long term prevention plan is key to keeping you 100% stone free for the long term.