Kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that form in the kidneys and are extremely painful to pass. Although kidney stones originate in the kidneys, they can affect any part of the urinary tract. Stones consist of mineral and acid salts that crystallize when urine becomes concentrated. Kidney stones are more common in men than women, with prevalence increasing when a person reaches his or her 40s. For women, kidney stones reach peak prevalence at age 50. Dr. Y. Mark Hong provides advanced treatment methods, such as extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, laser lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, laparoscopic surgery, and stone prevention profile for kidney stone treatment in our Phoenix, AZ, office locations.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are quite common and are rarely life threatening; however, they can be extremely painful. There are many symptoms to alert you that you may have or are passing a kidney stone. These include:
- Severe pain in the side of the torso and back, or below the rib cage
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
- Pain that comes in waves, while varying in intensity
- Pain while urinating
- Discolored urine
- Unusually cloudy or unusual smelling urine
- Feeling the need to vomit (or vomiting)
- Feeling the urgent need to empty the bladder
- Visiting the restroom more often than normal
- High temperatures and chills, if an infection is present
- Urinating in small quantities
Pain associated with kidney stones may change as they move through your urinary tract. For example, pain may begin in the kidneys and be felt in the lower back, then travel to the groin as stones progress toward being passed from the body. Patients should see a doctor when pain causes restlessness and inability to sit comfortably, when they are experiencing nausea and vomiting, or when they notice blood in the urine. There aren’t any known causes of kidney stones, though for certain people, lifestyle factors may contribute to their formation.
With many treatment options, Dr. Hong is equipped to relieve symptoms and pain associated with kidney stones.
Treatment of Kidney Stones
Dr. Hong offers multiple advanced treatments for kidney stones:
- Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a minimally invasive technology that breaks up kidney stones by using focused ultrasound waves. Waves are introduced to the body externally, so no incision or endoscopy is required for ESWL. The shock waves break large kidney stones into smaller pieces, which will allow for easier passage. The process takes about an hour to complete, in most cases. For a few days after treatment, patients can expect mild pain while urinating.
- Laser lithotripsy is an incision-less procedure that uses a specialized laser to break up kidney stones into smaller pieces, allowing for easier passage. Good for small stones located in the ureters or the kidneys, this procedure has a higher success rate than shockwave lithotripsy.
- Robotic surgery involves using laparoscopic, robotic micro-tools that make tiny incisions and remove very large kidney stones. The procedure is minimally invasive and greatly reduces scarring and healing time, when compared to traditional open surgery.
- Stone prevention profile is an individualized plan that uses medications and dietary changes, recommended by Dr. Hong, to deter recurring kidney stones.
Schedule an Appointment Today
With many treatment options, Dr. Hong is equipped to relieve symptoms and pain associated with kidney stones. In addition, he will help you develop a plan to prevent them from recurring. His compassionate, discreet, and effective treatment has helped many patients achieve improved health and comfort. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Hong.