Kidney Stones Specialist
Urology Of Greater Atlanta
Kidney stones are small deposits of minerals that form in your kidneys before traveling through your urinary tract to exit your body. They’re also incredibly painful. At Urology of Greater Atlanta, the team of board-certified urologists has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating kidney stones. Make an appointment today by phone or online for expert urological care for kidney stones.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits typically made up of minerals, salts, and other waste chemicals filtered out of your blood by your kidneys. The stone-like lumps generally pass through the ureter and out through the urine stream. Microscopic kidney stones can pass without causing any symptoms. However, if a kidney stone is too large, it can cause severe pain or block a ureter, leading to infection.
Some of the most common kidney stone symptoms include:
- Severe pain in your back, side, abdomen, or groin
- Pain comes in waves, fluctuating in intensity
- Painful urination
- Cloudy or malodorous urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment at Urology of Greater Atlanta for expert diagnosis and customized treatment.
What causes kidney stones?
Several factors contribute to kidney stones, including diet, infection, and metabolic disorders. For example, if you have too much calcium or uric acid in your blood because of your diet, these materials can solidify into stones. Metabolic disorders can interfere with the way your body processes and absorb nutrients, contributing to your risk of kidney stones.
How are kidney stones diagnosed?
The team at Urology of Greater Atlanta provides thorough exams and diagnostic testing to identify and locate kidney stones. After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor completes a physical exam and takes blood and urine samples for testing. The team also uses diagnostic imaging studies, including CT scans, X-ray (KUB), and ultrasound, to gather more information about your condition.
What treatments are available for kidney stones?
The doctors at Urology of Greater Atlanta create a customized treatment plan to treat kidney stones. Depending on your needs, they might prescribe medication to help ease the pain of passing kidney stones. If your kidney stone is too large to pass on its own, your doctor might recommend treatment, such as:
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
- Endoscopic Ureteroscopy with holmium laser
- Open Removal
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy
ESWL is one of the most common, effective treatments. It uses high-energy sound waves to break kidney stones into smaller pieces, making them easier to pass through and out of the body. ESWL is a noninvasive treatment that often requires only a local anesthetic. Several treatments may be necessary for larger stones.
Endoscopic Ureteroscopy with holmium laser
While you’re under general anesthesia, your urologist passes a small scope through the urinary opening into your bladder and up into the ureter where the stone is located. They use laser energy to break the stone into smaller pieces making it easier and more comfortable to pass through the urinary tract. It’s a more invasive treatment than ESWL but an effective option to use if ESWL doesn’t work.
Surgical treatment options
Surgery is rarely required to remove kidney stones, but it may become necessary if your kidney stones are too large to respond to other treatments.
During open surgery, your Urology of Greater Atlanta physician makes a small incision in your abdomen, accessing the kidney to remove the stone. They insert a small catheter near the kidney to help drain urine while the kidney heals. In percutaneous nephrolithotomy, your doctor makes a small incision in your back to access the kidney and inserts a hollow tube to extract the kidney stone.
Urology Of Greater Atlanta
Compassionate care with the latest urological technology