Three Ways to Treat Kidney Stones

Renal lithiasis, or more commonly known as kidney stones, happens when minerals and acid salts crystallize in the urine. This process may produce relatively large kidney stones that are unable to pass through the urinary tract successfully, which can cause immense discomfort.

Although this urological condition is more common in men than women, it can develop in both genders. Individuals with kidney stones may experience:

  • Urge to urinate frequently
  • Severe back or side pain
  • Red or brown-colored urine
  • Painful, burning urination
  • Low abdomen pain
  • Cloudy urine
  • Nausea

After being diagnosed with kidney stones, a patient could wait for them to pass. This experience may be painful if the kidney stones are fairly large. Instead of waiting for the kidney stone to pass, consider visiting Affiliated Urologists to have them treated. Our team offers three unique methods to remove kidney stones depending on their size and location in the urinary tract. These minimally invasive procedures require very small incisions so patients can heal faster than most traditional surgeries.

The first technique is called shock wave lithotripsy (SWL). This treatment option is extremely common and it is performed completely outside of the body. During SWL, shock waves are sent to the kidney to break up crystals so they are easier to pass. The shock waves can be painful, so patients are typically given anesthesia to minimize discomfort during the SWL procedure.

Another procedure to treat kidney stones is called ureteroscopy. It is generally performed on kidney stones that are stuck in the ureters (tubes that bring urine from the kidneys to the bladder). First, a scope will be inserted into the bladder so your physician can find exactly where the stone is in the ureter. Then, they use a tool to grab and remove the kidney stone.

Finally, we may recommend percutaneous surgery if your kidney stone is larger than two centimeters. Before surgery, the patient may need to have images taken so the surgeon knows exactly where to make the 1-inch incision. Next, the patient will be put under general anesthesia. Going through the patient’s back, the surgeon inserts a camera into the kidney. Then, the kidney stones get broken up and removed either by the surgeon or through a suction device.

Kidney stones can recur if minerals crystallize in the urine. In order to prevent this, our team recommends the following:

  1. Drink plenty of water, especially when sweating!
  2. Watch that sodium! Don’t eat too much salt because may increase your risk of kidney stones.
  3. Get your recommended, daily value of calcium. This will help reduce an increase in oxalate levels. 

Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or visit for instructions on scheduling an appointment.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

New patients are always welcome.

Affiliated Urologists


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