Treating kidney stones may or may not involve surgery. Ninety-percent of the time, you don’t even have to go under the knife because your body will be able to expel it. But what happens to the remaining ten percent?
That remaining ten percent requires surgery because the stones which have clogged up your system are too large to pass through your bladder and is still growing bigger. It could also block urine flow, give you constant pain, damage your kidney tissue or cause you to have UTI or urinary tract infection.
There are currently 4 methods to deal with kidney stones.
The first is ESWL or extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy. Here non-electrical shock waves created outside your body will travel to the skin until it reaches the dense stones. Within minutes, the stones will form into san. For this to work, you will be placed in a tub or warm, purified water or onto a machine that acts as a medium for the non-electrical shockwaves to pass through.
Second, you have PNL or percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This is used when the kidney stone is quite big and ESWL does not work. Here, the doctor will make a small cut on your back to create a tunnel into the kidney. The stone will then be removed using an instrument known as a nephroscope. If the stone is too large, an energy probe will be used. There are two types namely ultrasonic and electrohydraulic.
Third, there is what is known as ureteroscopic stone removal. Here, a small fiberoptic instrument goes through the urethra and bladder to reach the ureter. Once inside, the stone is located and removed with a special instrument that emits a shockwave. After surgery, a tube will be left inside the uterer for a few days to help the lining of the ureter heal.