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Do You Need a Surgery For Removal of Stone?

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Kidney Stone

Do You Need a Surgery For Removal of Stone?

Stones usually pass from the kidneys, and finally through the urethra on their own without causing any pain. They develop primarily when you do not feel the urge to urinate often. You must know that after every half an hour, kidneys filter the blood and removes excess fluids and wastage from the body. Both men and women can develop stones in their lifetime - the common age group being 35-60+. Though most stones are formed between ages 20-40+, and if it happens then there are chances that they would occur again. The patients who suffer with urinary system stones always have the following questions in mind:

Do I require surgery for removal of stone and if yes then what kind of surgery?

Will I get these stones again in life?                                          

Can I do something to prevent reformation of stones?

Will they damage my kidneys?                                                          

Let us take these questions one by one.

Do I need surgery for removal of stone?

This depends on the location, size of the stone and the damage it is causing to our kidneys. A small stone of size 6 mm or less, which is in the urinary tube (Ureter) not causing much of swelling of the kidney, can be managed medically. You will not require surgery but you have to be under medical supervision.

Small kidney stones of size 5 mm also do not require surgery for removal, until and unless they come down and get stuck in the tube (Ureter). Larger stones in the ureter causing swelling of the kidney or infection require immediate removal by ureteroscopy and Holmium LASER.

According to Dr. Anupam Bhargava, small obstructing stones in the kidney also require removal by either Shock waves (ESWL) i.e. crushing the stone from outside. Though this method is not so effective in stones of our region because they are hard calcium stones. The other method is by going to the kidney through ureter with flexible scope and crushing the stones with Holmium LASER. This method is called Rentrograde Intra Renal Surgery (RIRS). Large kidney stones can be removed by a small whole (approximately 5 mm) through the skin. This method is called Per Cutaneous Nephro Lithotripsy  ( PCNL ). Now a days it is extremely rare to do open surgery for kidney stones.

Will I get kidney stones again?

There is high probability that one gets the stone again in his life time. Almost 40% patients can develop  second stone in there life time. Therefore it is essential for stone formers to undergo a regular followup with the best urologist whether they require surgical or medical therapy for stone treatment.

Can I do something to prevent reformation of stones?

To reduce the recurrence rate of stone formation patients require certain blood, urine tests and stone analysis. Those patients who are identified to have certain metabolic defects can be treated medically to reduce the reformation of stones. Otherwise rest of the patients are advised to modify diet and increase water intake.

Will they damage my kidneys?                                                         

Stones which block the kidney, whether they are in kidney or ureter and cause swelling of the kidney can gradually damage the kidney function. Stones can also cause recurrent infection in urinary tract which can further damage the renal function. Therefore even asymptomatic stones should be kept in surveillance.