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MEN’S HEALTH

Treatment for Kidney Stones in Pasadena, TX

Dr. Ori Hampel treats over 500 men and women per year suffering from kidney stones at his office in Pasadena, TX. The method of treatment will depend on the particular type of kidney stone that has developed, but many of these stones are treated in similar ways.

Most often, kidney stones will come to pass. You can assist this process by drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter pain medicine to help with pain management. It can take about four to six weeks for a kidney stone to pass. This may seem like a long amount of time, but it is safe to continue trying to pass a kidney stone on your own so long as the pain is manageable and there are no present signs of an infection. If you suspect that there may be an infection spreading within your kidney or ureter, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Some medications have been shown to help increase the body’s ability to pass kidney stones. Such medications work by relaxing the ureter, which provides the kidney stone with ample room to make its way to the bladder, where it will finally exit the body through urination. Prescription-strength painkillers may also be necessary depending on each individual case.

If the pain becomes too great, or if the ureter becomes completely blocked and begins to affect kidney function, surgery may be necessary. Modern technology allows for this surgery to be minimally invasive with minor recovery time. The most common types of surgery Dr. Hampel conducts for the removal of kidney stones include:

  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) – Completed over 50 procedures in the last year
  • Shock Wave Lithotripsy (SWL)
  • Urea Lithotripsy

What Are Kidney Stones?

When high levels of minerals and salt exist in the kidneys, they can form a clump of matter known as a kidney stone. These stones may stay inside of the kidney, where they will not cause any further harm.

The real problem begins when these kidney stones enter the ureter and block urine from traveling through the ureter to the bladder. This blockage caused by the kidney stone becomes very painful and can require surgery if they do not pass on their own.

Types of Kidney Stones

Not all kidney stones are the same. The exact type of kidney stone will determine the course of action used to treat the patient’s kidney stones. These types of kidney stones include:

  • Calcium stones (most common)
  • Uric acid stones
  • Struvite stones
  • Cystine stones

What Causes Kidney Stones?

The real problem begins when these kidney stones enter the ureter and block urine from traveling through the ureter to the bladder. This blockage caused by the kidney stone becomes very painful and can require surgery if they do not pass on their own.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Other than pain, patients with kidney stones often experience other symptoms such as:

  • Persistent need to urinate
  • Cloudy or discolored urine, usually pink, red, or brown in color
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Fever or chills typically occurs when there is an infection present
  • Pain radiating from the lower abdomen and groin, or in the back below the ribs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful urination

How are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?

In order for your doctor to determine whether or not you have a kidney stone, you may have diagnostic tests and procedures, such as:

  • Blood testing- Blood test results help monitor the health of your kidneys and may lead your doctor to check for other medical conditions such as too much calcium or uric acid in your blood.
  • Urine testing- To determine whether you’re excreting too many stone-forming minerals or too few stone-preventing substances, your doctor may request that you perform two urine collections over two consecutive days.
  • Imaging- Imaging tests show doctors where kidney stones are currently inside your urinary tract. Dr. Hampel may also use high-speed or dual energy computerized tomography (CT) to reveal even tiny stones.
  • Ultrasound- a noninvasive test that is quick and simple to perform in the comfort of Dr. Hampel’s office. 
  • Analysis of passed stones- This test requires you to urinate through a strainer to catch any kidney stones that you pass. Later on, lab analysis will reveal the makeup of your kidney stones. After the analysis is complete, your doctor uses this information to determine the cause of your kidney stones to prevent it from happening again.

How Are Kidney Stones Treated

As previously mentioned, the method of treatment will depend on the particular type of kidney stone that has developed, but many of these stones are treated in similar ways.

Most often, kidney stones will come to pass. You can assist this process by drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter pain medicine to help with pain management. It can take about four to six weeks for a kidney stone to pass. This may seem like a long amount of time, but it is safe to continue trying to pass a kidney stone on your own so long as the pain is manageable and there are no present signs of an infection. If you suspect that there may be an infection spreading within your kidney or ureter, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What to Expect After the Procedure

Have someone drive you home from the hospital. Rest when you get home. Most people can go back to their regular daily activities 1 or 2 days after this procedure.

It is normal to have a small amount of blood in your urine for a few days to a few weeks after this procedure. Some people may experience pain and nausea when the stone pieces pass. This can happen soon after treatment and may last for 4 to 8 weeks.

For those who may have some bruising on your back or side where the stone was treated if sound waves treatment was used. You may also have some pain in the treatment area.

Drink a lot of water in the weeks after treatment. This helps pass any pieces of stone that still remain. Your health care provider may give you a medicine called an alpha-blocker to make it easier to pass the pieces of stone.

If you are struggling with pain or an infection caused by kidney stones, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Hampel to discuss your treatment options. To contact Dr. Hampel, please call our office today at (713) 477-8600.

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