Kidney Stone Treatment in Provo
Our kidneys monitor the levels of chemicals and toxins in our body by filtering fluids, salts, and waste products from our blood through urination. These waste materials flow through narrow tubes called ureters, which can occasionally be blocked by kidney stones.
How do kidney stones form?
While it can be difficult to determine the cause of a kidney stone, they usually occur when certain substances build up and crystallize in your kidneys, most frequently calcium and oxalate. They grow in the kidney until they enter the ureter.
In most cases you won't know you have a stone until it leaves your kidney. However, as it passes it can be extremely painful depending on the size. This pain can often manifest like a particularly bad backache, usually focused on one side. Because the ureter is such a small tube (about 1/8 of an inch wide), a kidney stone can get stuck and block the ureter, causing the urine to flow back into the kidneys causing additional discomfort and complications.
How to treat kidney stones
If you suddenly experience back pain and think that you could be suffering from a kidney stone, talk to your Intermountain provider or visit an InstaCare. Your doctor or urologist may prescribe a variety of treatments to rid your body of kidney stones or to ease the pain.
Kidney Stone Treatment Methods
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
The first solution is to break up your stone into smaller pieces that can more easily pass through the ureter through Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy. More commonly called ESWL, or simply lithotripsy, this practice uses shock waves to break up the kidney stones.
Your provider may also remove the stone through a ureteroscopy or a procedure called PCNL, which is a small tube that holds the ureter open so that the stone or its fragments can more easily flow through it.
Kidney stone pain management
Waiting for a stone to pass can be painful, with the pain sometimes coming in waves. Your doctor may advise taking over hte counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or he or she may prescribe a more powerful medication.