It is just as important to cure kidney stones as it is to know how to prevent them

The kidneys are small, but powerful, because these organs filter about one cup of blood in just one minute. It is important to pay attention to any alteration they present, because their damage could be irreversible.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are a grouping of crystals of different composition in variable quantity and that form a stone that can be of small or large size. Stones can be calcium, phosphate, oval, uric acid, infectious or mixed.

Do they always produce symptoms?

The most common symptoms are those of nephritic colic which consists of pain in the lumbar fossa radiating to the corresponding iliac fossa and which may or may not be accompanied by vegetative symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating and agitation.

It may also be the case that a stone does not cause symptoms, and on occasions, large stones lodged in the renal cavities may cause dull lumbar pain that is more prolonged in time and intermittent in intensity. In addition, renal problems have been described with renal failure or urinary sepsis associated with obstructive renal lithiasis.

How are kidney stones treated?

In the case of a ureteral stone, the first thing to try is an expulsive treatment to facilitate the spontaneous exit of the stone. Nowadays we have a wide therapeutic arsenal for the treatment of this pathology. Therefore, the correct technique must be applied to resolve the case in the most effective way with the least surgical invasiveness and in the fewest possible number of interventions.

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Among the techniques available are:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. Endoscopic retrograde renal surgery.
  • Ureterorenoscopy.
  • Laser lithofragmentation and percutaneous surgery.

These, in addition, can be combined with each other as in combined intrarenal endoscopic surgery using percutaneous and intrarenal endoscopic surgery.

Health risks if not treated in time

Stones can cause serious problems if not treated correctly. The most important of these is urinary sepsis, which can lead to admission to the ICU and even death in some cases. But there are other complications such as uncontrollable pain, renal failure or ureteral stricture.

When a kidney stone is removed, can more stones form?

In general, whichever technique is used, surgery consists of fragmenting the stone and extracting the fragments. It can also be combined with pulverization, which is turning the stone into powder.

In order to prevent the appearance of stones, there are specific tests that allow to study the causes of their formation. This set of tests is called metabolic study.

It is just as important to cure stones as to know how to prevent them. When a patient has a stone, he/she should be considered as a lithiasis patient and the urologist should give him/her the dietary recommendations and a way of life adjusted to his/her disease. In addition, according to the results of the causal study, drugs and other treatments aimed at prevention should be added. These preventive measures are very useful, as they considerably reduce recurrences.