What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are also known as calculi (plural), or calculus (singular). When it is in the kidney, it is a renal calculus. The tube draining the kidney to the bladder is the ureter, and a stone in the ureter is a urethral calculus. Passing a stone is usually very painful. However, many patients can pass a stone with only a "muscle ache" sensation in the back, and they may not be aware the pain was from a stone until it "pops out."
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone may or may not cause signs and symptoms until it has moved into the ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, these signs and symptoms may occur:
• Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
• Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
• Pain on urination
• Pink, red or brown urine
• Nausea and vomiting
• Persistent urge to urinate
• Fever and chills if an infection is present
Laser lithotripsy is a procedure to treat kidney stones. It uses a laser to break the stones into very small pieces. These pieces can be removed during the procedure. Or they may pass out of the body in the urine. You may be awake for the procedure. Or you may have medicine to make you sleep. Either way, you will not feel pain. The doctor may use an X-ray to find the stone.
First, the doctor puts a thin viewing scope with small tools, a camera, and a laser into your urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. Then the doctor moves the scope and tools through your urethra and bladder into your ureter. Ureters are the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder. If needed, your doctor moves the scope into your kidney.
If the stone is large or is in your kidney, your doctor may need to make a small cut (incision) in your back and put a hollow tube into your kidney. In this case, the doctor uses the laser to break up the stone. Then he or she removes the pieces of the stone through the hollow tube.
Your doctor may also place a small, flexible tube inside one of your ureters. This tube is called a stent. It helps the pieces of the stone pass through your body. If you get a stent, your doctor will usually remove it in a few weeks.Most people are able to go home the same day of the procedure.
Advantages for Laser Lithotripsy
• Non-invasive, does not require surgery
• Immediate relief of symptoms
• No blood loss
• Faster recovery and shorter hospital stay
• Lesser chances of infection
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