Kidney Stones Treatment Near Wilkes-Barre, PA

Passing a kidney stone is typically an extremely painful experience. In fact, it is said that the only pain that is worse is childbirth! At Riverview Urologic, we are the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre area experts in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones.

When a kidney stone moves tries to move out of a kidney and travels down the ureter to the bladder, several things happen. The first is pain, which can range from mild (rare) to severe (more common). Pain typically is located in the lower or middle back area and may move to the side or lower abdomen.

The stone may cause a blockage to the flow of urine which results in kidney swelling that can lead to permanent kidney damage. There may be blood in your urine. Many patients experience nausea and vomiting. You could develop a urine infection which causes a fever. If the pain is too intense, or if nausea and vomiting prevent you from drinking liquids, then you may need to go to a local hospital emergency department.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones can be very small and hard formations of acid salts and minerals that form on the inner surfaces of your kidneys. Normally these materials are diluted in urine, however when urine is concentrated, they can crystallize and solidify into small masses called kidney stones. They can develop at any age in both men and women. Stones can range in size from a pinhead to ones that measure 4 inches or more in length and fill an entire kidney. The most common type of kidney stone contains calcium.

While kidney stones cause no permanent damage, passing them can produce excruciating back and abdominal pain as they move from the kidney through the ureters (vessels connecting the kidney to the bladder). Knowing the type of kidney stones that have formed and why they developed is important in preventing the formation of new stones.

How are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?

There are a variety of methods to diagnose a kidney stone. Basic testing includes a physical examination by Dr. Rittenburg, an ultrasound to help locate a stone or area of blockage and a urine analysis to look for blood or an infection. A CT scan or other x-rays may be needed to help find a stone.

What are Treatment Options for Kidney Stones?

The treatment for kidney stones will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. Your physician may simply be able to prescribe pain medication to relieve pain until the kidney stone is passed, or they may recommend surgical procedures to remove the kidney stones if they are too large to pass naturally.

Riverview Urologic Associates are here to help you manage the symptoms of kidney stones and recommend the best treatment option based on your individual condition.

If you are suffering from kidney stone symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and painful urination, please call Riverview Urologic Associates at (570) 288-3601.

Fluid intake and dietary changes

You may be able to pass kidney stones by drinking plenty of water (up to 2 to 3 quarts (1.9 to 2.8 liters) a day and by remaining physically active. Dietary changes may include adjusting one’s intake of sugar, sodium calcium animal protein, insoluble fiber and vitamin C. Your physician can make recommendations based on the type and cause of your condition.

Pain Medication

During the course of passing a kidney stone, your physician may prescribe drugs to reduce or minimize the often time debilitating pain associated with the movement of the stones from the kidney into the bladder.

Medical Procedures

Kidney stones that can’t be managed or treated with dietary and fluid intake measures, because of their size or because of ongoing urinary tract infections or bleeding, may need more involved approaches. Riverview Urologic Associates are expertly trained in treating kidney stones using advanced techniques including the following therapies and surgical procedures.

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)

This common procedure uses ultrasonic shock waves to break the stones into very small particles that can be passed in your urine. Typically, a patient is immersed into a tub of water or lies on a soft cushion for the procedure.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy

When ESWL is ineffective, or in conditions where a stone is very large, a physician will remove the stone through a small incision in your back using an instrument called a nephroscope.

Ureteroscopic stone removal

When a kidney stone is lodged in the ureters, the stone can be removed with a small instrument called an ureterescope that is passed directly into the ureter through the bladder. 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.

Parathyroid surgery

When kidney stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands, (located on the four corners of your thyroid gland) the cause is most often a small benign tumor in one of the glands. To correct this condition a physician can surgically remove the tumor.