Kidney stones can be treated with various procedures depending on the size and location of the stone. The latest modalities are available to remove kidney stones including:
- Shock Wave Lithotripsy at Mount Sinai’s Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy Facility - Lithotripsy is a process of stone crushing whereby a high-energy shock wave generated by a high-voltage energy source crushes the kidney stone into particles which are passed in the urine. The Lithotripsy Facility at Mount Sinai was one of the first lithotripsy centers in Manhattan. With over twelve years of experience in treating patients with kidney stones, this facility allows patients to receive the benefits of one of the most advanced shock wave machine available. This advanced machine, which uses a tub-less generator that does not require patients to take a water bath, improves the quality of the image and decreases the duration of time required to treat the stone. Lithotripsy is a minimally invasive procedure which results in minimized risks and allows most patients to be treated on an outpatient basis. If hospital stays are required, they are generally brief.
- Surgery - Minimally invasive surgery techniques enable surgeons to use instruments either through a tract which goes from the back into the kidney (percutaneous procedure), or through a tract from the urethra and bladder to the ureter and kidney (ureteroscopic procedure), to fragment the stone or remove it entirely. Because the surgery can be done through such less invasive procedures, risks are minimized, and patients recuperate more quickly, resulting in shorter hospitals stays than ever before.
- Laser procedures - Minimally invasive procedures such as lasers and ultrasound, and other modalities can be used for stone fragmentation. Since laser technology has advanced, much smaller telescopes can be utilized which cause less trauma. Therefore, patients often can get laser procedures on an outpatient basis.
Approximately two thirds of patients who have had one kidney stone are at risk for developing another kidney stone in the future. Because of this high rate of recurrence, all patients who have ever had a kidney stone should consider a metabolic evaluation which includes stone analysis and blood and urinary testing. Additional testing including the use of bone density measurements is sometimes required. This evaluation identifies problems in over 90 percent of patients which can be easily addressed. Dietary changes (which vary from person to person) and/or medications can help to decrease future stone formation. Periodic evaluations with state-of-the-art non-invasive imaging is also a part of periodic evaluation.
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