Kidney Stones Treatment in Orange County, CA

Odds are that someone you know had a kidney stone. They are extremely common and can be quite painful, affecting one in eleven people at some point in their life. There is no single cause for kidney stones, but educating yourself on kidney stones can aid in the prevention of them. Some kidney stones can be passed with aid from pain medication and drinking plenty of water while others may require surgery.

The board-certified and highly trained urologists at Southland Urology in Orange County CA offer a range of effective treatments for kidney stones. This includes extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) and advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures to get rid of painful kidney stones. Call our office at (714) 870-5970 or click to visit our offices in Fullerton and Yorba Linda to explore your treatment options.

What is a Kidney Stone?

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances in urine become highly concentrated. Though some kidney stones are so small that they pass without causing pain, they can also grow large enough to get stuck in the urinary tract, which causes severe pain and even bleeding.

Four different kinds of kidney stones can form:

  • Calcium stones. These are the most common form of kidney stone and are often caused by high calcium and high oxalate excretion.
  • Uric acid stones. Uric acid stones are usually present when the urine is acidic due to a large intake of certain meats, fish, and shellfish.
  • Struvite stones. Struvite stones are a result of kidney infections.
  • Cystine stones. A genetic disorder causes cystine to leak into the urine, which forms crystals that turn into cystine stones.

How are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?

To properly diagnose kidney stones, UCLA Health stated that kidney stones are diagnosed by performing a physical exam and bring asked questions about your history with kidney stones, diet, GI problems, and other diseases and disorders. In addition to a physical exam and discussing your medical history, he or she may also perform a urine sample, blood test, abdominal x-ray and CT scans.

How are Kidney Stones Treated?

After appropriately diagnosing the kidney stone, your urologist will determine a treatment plan based on the size of your kidney stone what it is made of the type of stone, and the cause. Our team will recommend various treatments for your kidney stones. The first line of treatment often is drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Our team may also prescribe medications to help you pass the stone.

When stones become lodged in the urinary tract and cause complications or are associated with a urinary infection, our urologists in Orange County may recommend more intensive treatment options that can include:

  • Extracorporeal Shock wave lithotripsy or ESWL. A machine called a lithotripter uses sound waves to create strong vibrations or shock waves that break kidney stones into tiny pieces that can be passed in your urine. The procedure takes about an hour and might involve light anesthesia or sedation.
  • Ureteroscopy. When a kidney stone is lodged in the ureters, the stone can be removed with a small instrument called a uteroscope, which is long, tube like an instrument, that is passed directly into the ureter through the bladder to find the stone with a small basket or used to break up the stone with a laser. Besides physically snaring and removing a stone, the ureteroscope can also be used to direct laser or ultrasonic energy to break up the stone. These methods work well on stones in the lower part of the ureter.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy. When ESWL is ineffective, or in conditions where a stone is very large, your urologist will remove the stone through a small incision in your back using an instrument called a nephroscope. It uses a thin viewing instrument to locate and remove the stone.

How can Kidney Stones be Prevented?

Preventing kidney stones depends greatly on the reason the stone is forming. However, focusing on your diet is the first step in preventing any kind of stone from forming. Reducing sodium intake, limiting animal protein, avoiding foods high in oxalate, and getting enough calcium are all important in the prevention of kidney stones.

In addition to altering your diet, some health care providers may also prescribe certain medications depending on the type of stone.

Schedule an Appointment For Kidney Stones Treatment in Orange County, CA

For more information on diagnosing and preventing kidney stones, visit Southland Urology at our offices in Fullerton and Yorba Linda today.

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