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Info & Treatments for Kidney Stones & Kidney Disease
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Lithotripsy is a treatment for renal calculi (kidney stones). It involves using focused
pulses of ultrasound, or in some cases lasers, to shatter kidney stones that are
too large for the body to easily pass on its own. It is the second-
There are two types of lithotripsy, called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) and laser lithotripsy. Both types of lithotripsy seek to break kidney stones into smaller fragments that can then pass through the urinary tract and be removed from the body. ESWL is considered a non-
In ESWL, the patient may be sedated or under local anesthesia and lies down in the bed that is a part of the ESWL apparatus, with the back supported by a water-
Laser lithotripsy employs a scope inserted into the urinary tract. The scope may be a ureteroscope, cystoscope, nephroscope or renoscope. Medical imaging may help in the location of the kidney stone as with ESWL. When the stone is located, a fiber optic channel for laser light is inserted through the scope itself, and laser pulses are delivered to the stone to shatter it into smaller pieces that can be passed through the urinary tract. This is a minimally-
In both types of lithotripsy, the passage of the stones through the urinary tract may involve varying levels of pain. ESWL can result in capillary damage from the sonic bursts and lead to subcapsular hemorrhage and possibly to renal failure. Complications of laser lithotripsy come from the use of the urinary tract scope and are similar to risks involved with any procedure employing such a scope, i.e. it is possible to damage the urinary tract physically.
The cost of lithotripsy procedures can vary widely. In some areas in the United States, the procedure costs under a thousand dollars, but it can cost as much as three thousand dollars or more. Lithotripsy procedures are covered under many health-
As stated above, in most cases kidney stones require no aggressive treatment at all but are passed naturally, and a physician will monitor the progress of the disease and prescribe medications as necessary for pain management. Lithotripsy is the least invasive form of active treatment beyond monitoring and pain management and will be used for kidney stones that are too large to pass unaided but small enough for the treatment to be likely to succeed (usually two to four centimeters in diameter). Other procedures besides lithotripsy may be used when the kidney stone is too large to make lithotripsy likely to succeed.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a more invasive surgical procedure that physically removes kidney stones from the body. It makes use of a laporascope to minimize the incision made in the body; this form of surgery is sometimes called "keyhole" surgery. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is appropriate when the stone is too large for treatment with lithotripsy to be likely to succeed, and when it is located near the pelvic region. The procedure may be done under local or general anesthesia. The advantage of keyhole surgery is that it reduces post-
Open surgery, or standard nephrolithotomy, is recommended in cases of large kidney stones where the positioning of the stone does not lend itself to treatment by percutaneous nephrolithotomy. A larger incision is made and the kidney stone is surgically removed from the body. This is the most invasive procedure for treatment of kidney stones and is recommended only when other treatments are unlikely to be of success. As with other surgical procedures, possible complications include infection, damage to the kidneys and the urinary tract resulting from the surgery itself, and severe bleeding.
Most Common Medical Treatments for Kidney Stones
|Acute Renal Failure|
|Mild Kidney Failure|
|Bun Creatinine Ratio|
|Protein in Urine|
|Glomerular Filtration Rate|
|Beat Kidney Disease|