Kidney Stone Treatment in Houston, TX
What are Kidney Stones?
When high levels of minerals and salt exist in the kidneys, they can form a clump of matter known as a kidney stone. These stones may stay inside of the kidney, where they will not cause any further harm. The real problem begins when these kidney stones enter the ureter and block urine from traveling through the ureter to the bladder. This blockage caused by the kidney stone becomes very painful, and can require surgery if they do not pass on their own.
Dr. Jonathan Clavell is a board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist, and men’s health specialist in Houston, TX. Dr. Clavell specializes in providing treatment for kidney stones. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment options below. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort related to kidney stones, call (713) 652-5011 to schedule your appointment today.
What Are Kidney Stones?
When high levels of minerals and salt exist in the kidneys, a clump of matter known as a kidney stone can form inside of the kidney.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Other than pain, patients with kidney stones often experience other symptoms such as:
- Persistent need to urinate
- Cloudy or discolored urine, usually pink, red, or brown in color
- Foul-smelling urine
- Frequent urination
- Fever or chills, typically occurs when there is an infection present
- Pain radiating from the lower abdomen and groin, or in the back below the ribs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful urination
Types of Kidney Stones
Not all kidney stones are the same. The exact type of kidney stone will determine the course of action used to treat the patient’s kidney stones. These types of kidney stones include:
- Calcium Stones (most common)
- Uric Acid Stones
- Struvite Stones
- Cystine Stones
Treatment for Kidney Stones in Houston, TX
As previously mentioned, the method of treatment will depend on the particular type of kidney stone that has developed, but many of these stones are treated in similar ways.
Most often, kidney stones will come to pass. You can assist this process by drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter pain medicine to help with pain management. It can take about four to six weeks for a kidney stone to pass. This may seem like a long amount of time, but it is safe to continue trying to pass a kidney stone on your own so long as the pain is manageable and there are no present signs of an infection. If you suspect that there may be an infection spreading within your kidney or ureter, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Some medications have been shown to help increase the body’s ability to pass kidney stones. Such medications work by relaxing the ureter, which provides the kidney stone with ample room to make its way to the bladder, where it will finally exit the body through urination. Prescription strength painkillers may also be necessary depending on each individual case.
If the pain becomes too great, or if the ureter becomes completely blocked and begins to affect kidney function, surgery may be necessary. Modern technology allows for this surgery to be minimally invasive with minor recovery time. The most common types of surgery for the removal of kidney stones include:
- Ureteroscopy (URS)
- Shock Wave Lithotripsy (SWL)
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
How Long Does It Take to Flush Out a Kidney Stone?
Stones smaller than 4 millimeters pass on their own 80 percent of the time. They take an average of 31 days to pass. Stones that are 4–6 mm are more likely to require some sort of treatment, but around 60 percent pass naturally. This takes an average of 45 days.
What Dissolves Kidney Stones Fast?
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps dissolve kidney stones. In addition to flushing out the kidneys, apple cider vinegar can also decrease any pain caused by the stones. In addition, water and lemon juice can help flush the stones and prevent future kidney stones.
How Will I Know When a Kidney Stone Has Passed?
As stones move into your ureters — the thin tubes that allow urine to pass from your kidneys to your bladder — signs and symptoms can result. Signs and symptoms of kidney stones being passed can include severe pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and blood in your urine.
Which Fruits Are Good for Preventing Kidney Stones?
Citrus fruit, and their juice, can help reduce or block the formation of stones due to naturally occurring citrate. Good sources of citrus include lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
How Long After Passing a Kidney Stone Does the Pain Stop?
Once it reaches the bladder, the stone typically passes within a few days. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so it is important to follow up with your doctor if you do not pass the stone within 4-6 weeks.
Can Kidney Stones Grow Bigger?
Kidney stones can start small but can grow larger in size, even filling the inner hollow structures of the kidney. Some stones stay in the kidney, and may not cause any problems.
Schedule an Appointment for Kidney Stones Treatment in Houston, TX
If you are struggling with pain or an infection caused by kidney stones, please schedule an appointment with board-certified urologist, Dr. Clavell to discuss your treatment options. You can call our urology clinic in Houston, TX at (713) 652-5011 or request an appointment online today!