Identifying Kidney Stones
There are several types of kidney stones. Your kidney stone’s size and shape determine whether it is likely to pass by itself. Knowing a stone’s composition helps your doctor find its cause. Then he or she can suggest the best treatment.
A stone may be as small as a grain of sand. Or it may be as large as a golf ball. Small stones may pass out of the body when you urinate.
Small smooth, round stones may pass easily. Jagged-edged stones often lodge inside the kidney or ureter. Staghorn stones can fill the entire kidney.
Most stones are calcium oxalate, a hard compound. Stones made of cystine or uric acid, or caused by infection, are less dense. Stones often contain more than one chemical.
|Your kidneys filter your blood and release chemicals into the urine. If certain chemicals build up in the kidneys, they can form a stone.|
Treating Your Stones
You and your doctor will work together to form a treatment plan. Your doctor may suggest that you let your stone pass naturally. Or you may manage it with medications. SWL (shock wave lithotripsy), ureteroscopy (using a camera inside the body to remove the stone), or other procedures may also help. And you will be told how you can help prevent kidney stones in the future.