Center for Advanced Urology & Robotics
Bassem Eldaif, MD, FACS
Urologist located in Melbourne, FL
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and acid salts that stick together in concentrated urine. They can be painful when passing through the urinary tract, but usually don't cause permanent damage. The most common symptom is severe pain, usually in the side of the abdomen, that's often associated with nausea.
Kidney Stones Q & A
At the Center for Advanced Urology & Robotics, Dr. Bassem Eldaif offers not only offers treatment options to his patient but also preventative care to avoid stones from recurring in the future. Treatment options offered include pain relievers and drinking lots of water to help pass the stone. When conservative measures do not succeed, Dr. Eldaif may recommend certain surgical procedures to remove or break up larger stones. If you live in Melbourne, Florida, or the surrounding area, call the office or book an appointment online to learn how to be proactive in addressing kidney stones.
What are kidney stones?
When hard deposits made of minerals and salts form inside your kidneys, they resemble stones that range in size from less than 5 mm in diameter to larger than 1 cm. Small stones may pass without you even noticing, but large stones can cause pain and may require medical intervention to pass.
What are the symptoms of a kidney stone?
You may not notice the presence of small kidney stones. Even large stones may cause no outward symptoms until they try to pass into the ureter, the part of your body that connects the kidney to the bladder.
The symptoms of a stone that’s trying to pass include:
- Pain in the lower abdomen, back, and groin
- Frequent or painful urination
- Cloudy urine or blood in the urine
- Persistent need to urinate and only in small amounts
As the stone moves, these symptoms may intensify or moderate.
What are some lifestyle changes to prevent kidney stones?
The following three lifestyle strategies can help prevent the development of kidney stones.
An easy way to decrease your risk of kidney stones is staying hydrated. The amount of water you require per day depends on factors like your weight and activity level.
A healthy weight
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight also discourages the development of kidney stones, because a high body mass index is linked to an increased risk of kidney stones. Factors like your age, height, and health help determine the optimal weight for you.
Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of kidney stones, too. An effective plan may include reduction in certain types of foods or liquids, while increasing the consumption of others.
These lifestyle changes may not be 100% effective, especially if you’re genetically predisposed to forming stones or have had surgery like gastric bypass or a condition like inflammatory bowel disease.
How are kidney stones treated?
A variety of treatments are available for kidney stones. To encourage small stones to pass, Dr. Eldaif may have you drink a lot of fluids and take certain medications for pain and nausea control. He may also prescribe medications to relax the walls of your ureter (the tube from the kidney to the bladder where the stone is stuck). This creates widening of the the space for the stone to pass spontaneously. When conservative measures fall short of resolving the problem, Dr. Eldaif may recommend surgical procedures suitable for your specific case. One of these procedures is called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), which uses high-energy shock waves to shatter the stone into little pieces allowing for easier passage. Another example of a procedure Dr. Eldaif may recommend is called laser lithotripsy with or without basket extraction using a special scope to chase the stone up the ureter and blast it into fine dust or grabbing it with a basket.
For more information about kidney stone therapies, call the Center for Advanced Urology & Robotics or book an appointment online.