Kidney stones cause incredible pain and distress when being passed. In the past, the only treatment was to suffer through their passage or to have surgery, but James Richey, MD, and Lance Templeton, MD, of Alexandria Urology Associates in Alexandria and Oakdale, Louisiana, can help. If you need an evaluation and treatment for kidney stones, call the most convenient office or schedule an appointment using this website.
Kidney stones are firm deposits of concentrated minerals and salt that develop in your kidneys. They vary in size and you can develop several at once or just one at a time.
Smaller stones pass with the simple ingestion of plenty of water and some pain medication. Kidney stones that are larger than the urethra are quite painful to pass and can cause urinary tract infections and other complications.
Kidney stones come in different forms. Calcium stones are the most common type and are the result of certain dietary imbalances and some antidepressants. If you have an existing kidney condition, taking high doses of vitamin D and your surgical history can contribute to calcium stone development.
Uric acid stones are caused by gout, under- or overhydration, or eating too much protein. Other types of stones like struvite or cystine stones can be caused by kidney infections and other disorders.
When kidney stones first form, you don’t experience symptoms. It’s only once the stones shift inside the kidneys or begin to move toward the ureter that you experience pain. You’ll experience symptoms like:
Kidney stones can sometimes cause an infection that results in additional symptoms like fever and chills.
For a small kidney stone, the doctors will likely prescribe drinking plenty of water and taking some mild pain relievers. They might also prescribe a medication to help relax the ureter to allow the stone to pass with minimal symptoms.
Larger stones usually require more complex treatment. Passing larger stones naturally is incredibly painful and more likely to cause complications. The doctors can use a recently developed process called lithotripsy that uses sound waves to break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces that will pass easier, sometimes in as little as an hour.
If soundwave therapy isn’t effective, Dr. Richey and Dr. Templeton could recommend surgery to remove large kidney stones.
If kidney stones are making you miserable, book an appointment online or over the phone with Alexandria Urology Associates today.