Kidney stones, also known as “nephrolithiasis” or “urolithiasis,” are mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys. They often occur when there is a reduction of urine, or material within the urine that can cause stones. Men are twice as likely to experience kidney stones than women.
Kidney stones can sometimes be the size of a grain of sand, which makes it easy to pass through urine painlessly and without the care of a urologist. When the deposits are bigger, such as the size of a pea or marble, it becomes difficult to flush out of the body. Kidney stones of this size can become stuck in the ureter, which is the tube between the kidney and the bladder, and can be quite painful.
There are four different types of kidney stones:
Some kidney stones, known as “silent” stones, are small enough to be flushed out of the body with no symptoms, or stay within the kidney. If the stone travels through the urinary tract, the patient may experience few or no kidney stone symptoms. When the stone is larger and unable to pass painlessly through the ureter, significant symptoms can result, including:
The diagnosis of kidney stones is highly dependent on the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Further imaging tests such as non-contrast CT scans, ultrasounds, or X-rays are performed to confirm a kidney stone’s presence.
Kidney stone treatments are used for stones that do not pass as painlessly as a “silent” stone. With the intake of fluids, the majority of kidney stones will pass within 48 hours. Injectable anti-inflammatory drugs and narcotics may be used to minimize the pain.
There are a few kidney stone removal procedures that can be performed when the kidney stone is stuck in the ureter:
In men’s urology, it is important to seek out care from medical professionals who understand this complex field. The urology specialists at AUUA provide the care and treatment a patient needs for kidney stones and other men’s urologic conditions. Call us today to schedule your appointment at one of our seven locations in and around Phoenix.