Renal lithiasis, or kidney stones, are solid masses that are formed by aggregation of small mineral particles. They usually originate in the kidneys, but can develop anywhere along the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. It is known that kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions.

Recognizing the symptoms and signs of a kidney stone

Kidney stones cause severe pain. The symptoms may not appear until the stone is inserted into the ureters, a condition known as renal colic. The pain spreads to the back and abdomen. In men, pain can radiate to the groin. The pain of renal colic appears and disappears, but it can be intense. Other symptoms of kidney stones may include:

  • Blood in the urine (red, pink or brown)

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Discoloration or foul odor of urine

  • Fever

  • Frequent need to urinate

  • Urinate in small amounts

In the case of a small kidney stone , you may not have any pain or symptoms as the stone passes through your urinary tract.

Read also: 8 habits that can deteriorate the health of your kidneys

How is kidney lithiasis treated?

Treatment of renal lithiasis

The treatment depends on the type of stone. Most kidney stones are small enough (less than 4 mm in diameter) to be eliminated in the

  • Medication. If you have severe pain, your GP can relieve your pain with an analgesic injection. A second dose may be given after half an hour if you still feel pain. The medication can also be used to treat the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
  • Care at home. You may be advised to wait until the stone is excreted with urine. You can do this by filtering your urine through gauze. Give the stone to your doctor so they can analyze it and help determine any additional treatment you may need. You should drink enough water to make your urine colorless. If your urine is yellow or brown, you are not drinking enough water.
  • Hospitalization. If your kidney stone has entered the inside of your ureter and causes severe pain, your doctor may hospitalize you for treatment.

Treatment of large kidney stones

If a kidney stone is too large to remove naturally (6-7 mm in diameter or more), you may need another type of solution. The type of treatment you have will depend on the size and location of the stones.

Open surgery

Treatment of renal lithiasis

Nowadays, open surgery for the removal of kidney stones is very unusual (less than 1% of cases require this type of surgery). It is usually only used if there is a very large stone or an abnormal anatomy. During open surgery, an incision will be made in your back so that the surgeon can access your ureter and kidney.

Visit this article: 8 symptoms that can alert you to kidney stones

Treatment of uric acid stones

If you have a uric acid stone, you may be advised to drink about three liters of water each day to try to dissolve it. Uric acid stones are much milder than other types of kidney stones , and can be reduced if exposed to alkaline fluids.

You may need to take some medication to make your urine more alkaline before the uric acid calculation begins to dissolve.

Complications of treatment

Treatment of renal lithiasis

After the treatment of large kidney stones complications can arise, which will depend on the type of treatment and the size and position of your calculations. It is estimated that between 5% and 9% of people may experience complications after a ureteroscopy. Complications may include:

  • Sepsis , an infection that spreads through the blood.

  • Blocked ureter, caused by stone fragments.

  • Injury in the ureter.

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Bleeding during surgery.

  • Intense pain.

References:

Medical management of renal stone, NCBI,

Kidney stones, Mayo Clinic,

Diagnosis and Initial Management of Kidney Stones, American Family Physician AAFP,

Treatment of renal lithiasis

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