Kidney Stones - Myths, Facts & Treatment

There has been an upsurge in the number of cases of kidney problems. People as young as in their twenty are having kidneys tone problems. These problems range from kidney infection to kidney stone or renal calculi as known in medical terminology.

Looking at the demographic side of the problem, kidney stone problems are more prevalent in state of Rajasthan. This can be attributed to the hardness in the water in the state. Another reason is the hot and dry weather in most of the cities in Rajasthan which increases the sweating. If the water consumption is low then the concentration in urine increases which leads to higher probability of formation of stones .

When it comes to the treatment for kidney stones there are many myths and misconceptions. The biggest myth is that the only treatment for kidney stone is surgery. Dr Prashant Gupta Urologist at Metro MAS Hospital located in Mansarovar area in Jaipur says” this a myth that all kidney stones require surgery. There are many cases where in the size of the stone is upto 6 mm and patient is not diabetic, we can treat them through medicine. These are 50 – 60% of cases where body itself flushes the stone out.” 

Diagnosis of the kidney stones is done through X-ray KUB and Lower Abdomen Ultrasound. However the treatment for kidney stones depends upon the type or the character of the stones. Dr D S Yadav Director and Chief Radiologist at Modern Diagnostic Centre says” in most of the cases the characterization of the stone is done post surgery, which is just a formality. At Modern we have 128 Slice Dual Source CT Scan with Dual Energy application which can identify the type or character of the stone whether it is oxalate or uric acid stone or any other type of stone through a simple CT KUB. This helps the urologist decide upon the line of treatment to be followed.”

Dr Prashant Gupta also vouches for the same and tells “Uric Acid stones can be dissolved by increasing the pH levels through medicine and it does not require surgery.” Dr Gupta further tells that the best way to reduce the chances of developing kidney stone is to drink 2-3 litres of water daily and urine output of 1.25-1.5 litres with water like colour.

We cannot control the formation of kidney stones but can definitely reduce the chances by taking following precautions:

·         Drink 2-3 litres water daily

·         Avoid eating fruits and vegetables with seeds like strawberry, brinjal, tomato etc as they contain large amount of oxalate which leads to formation of oxalate stones.

·         Avoid eating green leafy vegetable and red meat as they tend to increase the chances of formation of uric acid stones

Treatment Options

There are various types of treatment that are available for kidney stones. If the stone is in the upper ureter then there are two types of treatments available:

·         Lithotripsy – It is a day care procedure and does not require any intervention. The stone is broken into very fine particles through laser and is flushed out through urine in couple of weeks time. In case the stone is more than 10 mm then a stent is put in the patient so that the stones do not get stuck in ureter.

·         Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) – PCNL is a microscopic surgery or a minimally invasive surgery where a very small incision is made and the stones are taken out from the incision. Patient is required to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. In case of old and hard stones PCNL is the advisable option as because of the chronic condition it is difficult to break the stone through lithotripsy.

Kidney stones cannot be controlled but their formation and growth can be. We just need to take the precautionary measures and should not shy away from seeing the doctor to get the right treatment.

 You can watch the video interview of Dr Prashant Gupta, Urologist at Metro Hospital, Jaipur on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mNkkMliViM

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