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Surgical Procedures For Kidney Stones

Posted May 17 2010 6:10pm


Kidney stones are not really dangerous because normally it gets out of the body through urination. Then again there are cases when kidney stones develop to something bigger than expected so they stay in the body. When this happens then it is time to visit your doctor so that you can go through necessary tests and figure out the next best steps to be taken. Usually a patient with kidney stones may just be advised to stay home and drink lots of water so that eventually the kidney stones are flushed out. Sometimes though that is not enough and so after careful thought surgery may be considered as it is needed.

There are many things to consider before someone with kidney stones should consider surgery. Here are some of the things to observe and take note of. If you are experiencing these things then you seriously have to start thinking about surgery. If the kidney stones seem to be stuck over quite a long period of time and is starting to cause the person pain. Also, when the kidney stones blocks the normal flow of urine and causes a urinary tract infection to persist. On very bad occasion, ignored kidney stones that are getting bigger may eventually cause kidney tissue damage which is evident in bleeding.

For over 20 years open surgery was the only way to go when it comes to removing kidney stones. As in any open surgery, recovery period takes a long period of time as in around four to six weeks which is really bad news. This is the reason why people tend to just self-medicate thinking it will wade out.

However things can just get worse if you leave things at that but who can blame those people? Going under the knife is not something that is easy to undergo. The good news is that these days, due to advancement in technology, many surgery choices for the removal of kidney stones no longer require open surgery and can even be performed in an outpatient setting.

Here a number of procedures are discussed. The most common surgery choice is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy or ESWL. There are a number of ESWL devices available but basically they all work the same way. Shock waves are created outside the body and then it penetrates the skin and tissues to make its way through the kidney stones that will eventually be broken down into small pieces.

Now for more kidney stones in more complicated areas or states, there are other procedures to choose from. For larger stones or kidney stones that are hard to locate, there is the percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This requires a bit of going under the knife since a surgeon has to make a tiny incision at the back to create a tunnel directly to the kidney. What is good about this procedure is that it can remove fragments of kidney stones directly. For stones located in the mid and lower ureter, Ureteroscopy might be needed. No incision is required for this procedure.

The surgeon simply passes a small fiberoptic instrument called a ureteroscope until it reaches the ureter. Upon locating the kidney stone, it is removed with a cage-like device or breaks it with a special instrument that produces shock wave. This particular procedure, however, is rarely used to day because of the high risks involved.

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