What Treatments Are Commonly Used for Kidney Stones?


Quick Answer

While sound waves, surgery and a scope treat large stones, medical therapy, water and pain relievers treat small kidney stones, states Mayo Clinic. The method of treatment depends on the stone type and the cause.

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What Treatments Are Commonly Used for Kidney Stones?
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Full Answer

Sound waves break up stones into small pieces, notes Mayo Clinic. Depending on the stone's size and location, a doctor can recommend extracorporeal shock wave lithotrips, which involves the creation of shock waves that break the stones into small particles. To avoid pain, the patient should be sedated during this procedure.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is surgery that is suitable for the removal of excessively large kidney stones through percutaneous nephrolithotomy, according to Mayo Clinic. This procedure involves the insertion of small telescopes and instruments through an incision in the patient's back. During this surgery, the patient should be under general anesthesia. Surgery is appropriate if extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy fails to treat the stone.

Parathyroid gland surgery is used to treat stones caused by overactive parathyroid glands due to overproduction of parathyroid hormone, claims Mayo Clinic. This condition raises calcium levels, leading to the formation of kidney stones.

To treat stones with a scope, the doctor locates the stone by running a ureteroscope through the urethra and the bladder to the ureter, explains Mayo Clinic. The doctor then uses a special tool to snare the stone.

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