The spring and summer seasons are when urologists see most of the kidney stone patients during the year. To understand the reason behind this increase, you need to know how the stone is formed. First, when one becomes dehydrated tiny little crystals are formed in a supersaturated urine. With time, these crystals aggregate to form a stone nidus, which then grows into a stone. The entire process can take a few weeks, but more typically a few months. People tend to be more active and outdoors in the summer and without proper hydration a kidney stone can present itself.
The most common symptom of a kidney stone is the unmistakable back pain. It is described by many as one of the worst pains one can have. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, blood in the urine, or symptoms that mimic urinary tract infection such as constant urge to urinate or burning with urination.
Kidney Stone Treatment
The treatment of a kidney stone depends on its size and location. Stones that are smaller than 4-5 mm have an excellent chance to pass spontaneously. Proper pain management, adequate hydration and physical activities are the keys for this treatment to work. In some cases, medications called alpha blockers can be given to aid the stone passage. If the stone is too big to pass on its own, then it can be treated with one of following treatment options: Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL), ureterscopy with laser lithotripsy, or percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
The most commonly used treatment is Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy. This non-invasive, outpatient procedure is done under either heavy sedation or general anesthesia. It usually takes no more than 40-45 minutes and most of the patients can return to work a couple of days after the procedure.
Kidney Stone Prevention
The best way to avoid a kidney stone is to stay hydrated. How do you know you are adequately hydrated? Look at the color of your urine. It should be light yellow or clear at all times.
If you ever find yourself or a loved one suffering from kidney stones and need immediate treatment give University Urology a call at (212) 686-9015. Our friendly staff will get you or your loved one scheduled with a urologist quickly and on the way to relief.