If you have ever experienced a kidney stone, you know how painful it can be. In fact, medical offices see nearly three million visits and more than 500,000 patients go to hospital emergency rooms for this urologic disorder.
While most kidney stones pass through the body without medical intervention some stones can lead to long-lasting symptoms or other complications. Many of these conditions may be treated by various non-surgical techniques and prevention; however, some may require medical treatment to physically dissolve or break apart the kidney stones.
For most patients, the doctor will suggest a home care scenario that includes pain medication, prescription medicines to help the stones pass, as well as a hydration protocol. Patients will need to drink water and other fluids to mitigate dehydration.
If a stone is too large to pass through the system or if it gets lodged in the urinary tract, a physician’s treatment may be required. In fact, about twenty percent of stones will require a doctor’s treatment.
A doctor will most likely opt for a common treatment known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). This procedure employs the use of shock waves to make the stone smaller by breaking it into smaller pieces. These smaller bits can then pass out of the body through the urinary system. Other treatment options include placing a stent in one