Kidney And Ureteric Stones

Kidney stones are very common; with approximately 1 in 10 men and 1 in 35 women being diagnosed with kidney stones in their lifetime. Whilst there are many different types of stones, all are equally painful when blocking the upper urinary tract.

Diagnosis:

The key to diagnosis of renal stones is imaging, with a dedicated CT of the kidneys, ureters and bladder the gold standard for diagnosis, and discovering the size and location of the stone.

Treatment:

We are able to offer a full and comprehensive range of treatment options for renal and ureteric stones. These include:

  • Dissolution therapy – Uric acid stones can be dissolved by raising the pH of the urine. This can be done simply by drinking Ural or any other urinary alkalinising agent – for a specific type of stone, the stone is dissolved without the need for any surgical intervention.
  • ESWLExtracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy. This treatment uses sound waves passed from a generator outside the body to shatter the stones to dust. It is non-invasive and can be performed as a day case.
  • Laser Lithotripsy – This can be performed through either a rigid or flexible ureteroscope, which allows the stone to be visualised whilst being dusted with a laser. This can also usually be performed as a day procedure and involves no cuts to the skin at all.
  • PCNL – Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy – This treatment, now performed in the supine position, allows excellent treatment for very large stones. This keyhole approach allows direct access to the kidney and large stones can be removed safely. The ability to perform this in a supine manner allows for combination treatment whereby laser ureteroscopy can be combined with keyhole access from above for a complete treatment, but also allows the anaesthetist full access to the airway throughout the procedure.

Prevention:

Whilst the most common way to prevent kidney stones is by drinking enough water to keep your urine dilute, we are able to tailor the preventative strategies to the type of stone and your individual urine composition.

  • A 24 hour urine test will give information on the volume and pH of the urine as well as the concentration of key solutes such as sodium, potassium, uric acid, creatinine, magnesium, phosphate, calcium, citrate, cysteine and oxylate. This will allow us to tailor an individualised preventative strategy for your stones.
  • Stone analysis; removing and analysing the stone will allow us to find out which type of stones you are forming and will also aid in tailoring an individualised preventative stone strategy.
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