Renal Clinic of Houston
Nephrology located in Katy, TX & Memorial City, Houston, TX
Kidney stones have the well-deserved reputation of causing extreme pain as they pass out of your body. Whether you need help eliminating stones or a procedure to remove them, the physicians at the Renal Clinic of Houston can help. The team has years of experience supporting patients with medical care as stones go through their urinary tract. They also perform today's most advanced procedures for removing stones. If you have waves of pain in your back or side, call the office in Memorial City in Houston, Katy, or North Cypress, Texas, or book an appointment online today.
Kidney Stones Q&A
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones develop from minerals and other substances in your urine. These substances normally dissolve in the fluid. But, when the dissolved substances become too concentrated, they crystalize and form a solid stone.
You can have several types of stones, which are named after the substances they contain:
- Calcium oxalate stones
- Calcium phosphate stones
- Uric acid stones
- Struvite stones
- Cystine stones
Of the different types, calcium-containing stones represent 80% of all kidney stones.
What symptoms develop if I have kidney stones?
As long as your kidney stones remain small and inside your kidneys, chances are you won't have symptoms. The primary symptom, pain, begins when a stone leaves your kidney and enters the ureter (the tube carrying urine to your bladder), or one or more stones gets large enough to block the opening to the ureter.
As the stone moves through your ureter, you experience:
- Sharp pain in your back and side (just below the ribs)
- Pain radiating to your abdomen or groin
- Pain that comes and goes in waves
- Blood in your urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Urinary frequency
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Urinating in small amounts
If your stone blocks the opening, urine gets trapped in the kidney. That causes kidney inflammation and infection.
How are kidney stones treated?
After completing a physical exam, your provider at the Renal Clinic of Houston performs diagnostic imaging to determine the size and location of your stone. Based on that information, they decide whether the stone can safely move through your urinary tract or you need a procedure to remove the stone.
Your treatment may include:
Your provider may prescribe medication to ease your pain as the stone moves through your urinary tract. You may also need medication to prevent some types of kidney stones.
Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)
ESWL is a non-surgical treatment that uses vibrations from high-energy shock waves to break apart the kidney stone. The smaller pieces then pass through your urinary tract.
During this procedure, your provider guides a scope through the urethra and bladder and into the ureter. Then they use a small wire basket to remove the stone. If needed, they can use a laser to break the stone into smaller pieces that are easier to retrieve.
If you have a large stone inside your kidney, your provider makes a small incision in your back, inserts a narrow scope through the incision, and guides it into your kidney. They use ultrasound to break up the stone, then remove the pieces.
If you develop severe back or side pain and suspect kidney stones, call the Renal Clinic of Houston or book an appointment online today.
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