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Calculi / stones
Kidney “stones” are called calculi or urolithiasis. They are very common in Western countries and might be completely asymptomatic or cause intense pain or even kidney failure. The management of the stone disease is complex and, above all, it should be personalized and comprenhesive. In this clinic not only do we care about removing the stones but we also find out why they have formed through a study and so to prevent future stones.Why are stones formed?
The cause is varied and often multiple. Diet, changes in uric acid, infections, kidney malformations, genetic factors, bowel or kidney diseases, etc… may be involved. A detailed and personalized evaluation should be performed to find possible causes and thus prevent new stones.What is renal colic?
It is an intense pain located in the lower back that may radiate down to the groin and genitals, caused by the obstruction of the kidney. The most common cause of this obstruction is a kidney stone that has moved hindering the flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder.How serious is renal colic?
It is very painful, and in some cases it is called complicated renal colic which may be serious.What is the treatment of renal colic?
It is twofold. First, we must ease the pain with painkillers and then get rid of the cause of that pain. Depending on the location of the stone, its size and the impact it has on the patient, treatment may range from drugs used that make it easier to pass to the need for surgery.What is the treatment for kidney stones?
As stated above, the treatment has two pillars; firstly, the stone must be removed and secondly we should prevent future new stones.How the stones are removed?
It depends on the size and location. Usually, most of the stones can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. The most common techniques are the external shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) in which the stone is pulverized using ultrasound waves emitted from a device located externally to the patient, ureterorenoscopy, consisting of access to the stone through the urethra and once localized, we remove or break it, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy, in which through a small incisión in the flank, we get access to the kidney stones to break and then remove them. There is no one technique better than another; the treatment to be used depends on the characteristics of each case.
In the event that the stones are caused by a malformation of the kidney as ureteropelvic junction stenosis, sometimes surgery to correct that problem is necessary. Generally these surgeries can be performed laparoscopically.