IS IT TRUE THAT SURGERY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TREAT KIDNEY STONES?
Kidney stones are a common problem, with about 1 in 10 people experiencing them at some point in their life. Kidney stones usually form when the urine becomes concentrated and contains too much of certain minerals, such as calcium or oxalate. Kidney stones may grow slowly for years without symptoms. Some people experience only mild discomfort from a small stone, while others suffer severe pain that lasts for weeks or months.
The most common types of kidney stones are calcium-based or uric acid-based. Calcium-based stones form when protein in your urine combines with calcium in your body to create a stone. They're more common in men than women because men have higher levels of protein in their urine. Uric acid-based kidney stones form when uric acid builds up in your blood and passes into your urine where it becomes concentrated and crystallizes. These types of kidney stones are more common among women of all ages because they have higher concentrations of urics in their bodies compared to men.
The most common treatment for kidney stones is to have them pass out of the body without causing discomfort. This is usually achieved by drinking large amounts of fluids to flush the stones through the urinary tract. If drinking enough fluid doesn't work, your doctor may give you pain medication or other treatments to help with the pain. Some people are advised to drink less fluid so that they don't have to go through a lot of pain in order to make their kidney stones pass on their own. This can be done in two ways: either by taking certain medications or by inserting a tube in your bladder and draining off some of the urine.
Some people choose to wait for their kidney stones to pass on their own (called "watchful waiting"). Your doctor might recommend watchful waiting if you have small, painless stones. Watchful waiting is usually the best option for people who don't experience any complications from the kidney stones.
SURGERY FOR KIDNEY STONES?
If you're suffering from kidney stones, your doctor will test your urine for specific type of stone and may request an abdominal CT scan to see if the stones are blocking the flow of urine. If your doctor finds that you have a kidney stone and determines that it's causing a problem, they might remove it through surgery. This is most common if the stone is large and blocking the flow of urine.
While surgery is a last resort, it is an option if other treatments have not been successful. Surgery for kidney stones usually means a cystoscopic procedure to remove the stone. In this procedure, a thin tube is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. A scope is then used to identify the stone and to remove it.
In addition to being one of the most common surgical procedures, surgery for kidney stones has a high success rate. The success rates for treating kidney stones with surgery can be as high as 95%.
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO PREVENT THE FORMATION OF KIDNEY STONES
- Drinking enough water can actually help prevent and reduce the pain of kidney stones. It helps flush out the stone and any other potential causes for the pain.
- Cut down on salt: Salt can actually increase your risk of developing a kidney stone so it's important to cut down on salt intake.
- Increase your fiber intake: Fiber is important for both prevention and treatment of kidney stones, so try to increase your fiber intake through foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocado, and broccoli.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of developing a kidney stone so it's best not to drink alcohol if you're trying to prevent or treat them
- Stay physically active & exercise regularly
Dr. Kalyan Kumar A.V
MBBS, MS, DNB
Consultant Urologist and Andrologist, Star Hospitals
For Appointments, Call: 040 44 77 77 00