Kidney stones form from different substances in your kidney, sometimes leading to intense pain and problems with urination. If you have a large kidney stone, you may not be able to manage your symptoms by yourself.
When you need treatment for a kidney stone, Dr. David Shusterman and Dr. Chong-Min Kim provide several treatments, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for larger kidney stones at their office, NY Urology.
Dr. Shusterman and Dr. Kim are both experienced nephrologists and kidney stone specialists with extensive experience treating all types and sizes of kidney stones.
Signs and symptoms of large stones
You can have a small kidney stone without any symptoms when it's floating around in your kidney. Kidney stones can be in your kidney for years without you knowing.
However, when the stone becomes large and begins to move around toward your ureter, you have symptoms. There are varying signs and symptoms of larger kidney stones, including the following:
- Flank or low back pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain with urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Bloody urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Cloudy urine
If the large kidney stone leads to a kidney infection or urinary tract infection, you may also have a fever and chills, along with some of the other symptoms.
Kidney stones that are large and stuck are excruciating. If you've had kidney stones before or are experiencing several of the above symptoms, seeking help immediately is imperative.
Understanding your treatment options
If you're not able to pass the kidney stone on your own, we recommend several treatment options. Large kidney stones cause significant pain and can become stuck in your ureter.
When the stone gets stuck in your ureter, you can have bleeding and trouble urinating because of the blockage. Quick and efficient treatment is necessary to ease your pain and eliminate the chance of further damage to your kidneys.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWL, is a non-invasive procedure Dr. Shusterman performs right here in our office. You need light anesthesia to make you comfortable during the procedure.
You'll lie on a table with a water cushion on your abdomen or under the affected kidney. Once Dr. Shusterman finds the kidney stone, he places the device in the area, passing about 2000 shockwaves through your system to break up the kidney stone.
The ESWL treatment lasts about an hour, during which the shockwaves target and break up all the pieces of the giant kidney stone.
Sometimes, Dr. Shusterman must put stents in your kidney before ESWL treatment. The stents keep your ureter open in case you have swelling during and after the procedure.
ESWL is an effective treatment for kidney stones that are two centimeters in size or smaller that are causing discomfort. If you have a bigger kidney stone, Dr. Shusterman recommends more invasive treatments for relief, such as a ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
What happens next?
After your ESWL treatment, you'll move into the recovery area to allow the anesthesia to wear off. Once you're awake, we review your discharge instructions and ensure you're feeling well enough to go home.
One of the most important actions after treatment is to stay hydrated. Dr. Shusterman wants you to drink plenty of water in the next few days to facilitate moving the remaining stone fragments out of your body.
You may want to rest for a few days after ESWL as you may experience some pain and discomfort as the stones move out of your body. If needed, Dr. Shusterman provides pain medications and antibiotics to keep you comfortable.
However, you can manage your discomfort with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications alone. You'll also need to strain your urine every time you pee to catch any remaining stones so we can evaluate them.
Your recovery is usually only a couple of days. Once the remaining pieces of kidney stones leave your body, you should feel as good as new.
If you're dealing with kidney stones and need expert help, call NY Urology today to make an appointment with our team. You can also book a consultation online using our convenient scheduling tool.