Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that are made in your kidney. They can migrate from the kidney to the ureters (tubes that drain the kidney) and into your bladder.
Kidney stones form when there are more crystal forming substances than there is urine. These crystals can stick together forming a larger crystal or stone. There are several risk factors that include hereditary disorders, metabolic disorders, simply not drinking enough fluid, recurrent infections, or as a result of some medications.
Often, diagnosis is made on the basis of symptoms as well as radiographic exams. A CT, Xray or an ultrasound may show the size and location of the stone. However, your symptoms may be the first indicator. Symptoms can include blood in the urine, flank pain, nausea, vomiting, pain upon urination.
Treatment will be based on several factors, including location, size and density of the stone. Lab tests including urine studies will also determine the kind and urgency of the treatment needed. Some stones may pass on their own given time, however, others may need a surgical intervention. All options will be discussed and a plan will be tailored to ensure the most efficient and effective strategy is used. In some cases we will perform follow up testing to ensure further episodes are limited or prevented.