Renal stones affect about 11% of men and 6% of women in the United States. Symptoms of these stones can be severe enough to send you to the emergency room.
At Urology Specialist Group, our experienced urologists offer diagnostic testing and treatment services for people with new or recurrent stones. We specialize in noninvasive procedures to break up or remove large stones, so you can find fast relief of pain and other symptoms.
Understanding renal stones
Renal stones, also known as kidney stones, form when chemicals in your urine solidify in your urinary tract. Stones can be made from substances like:
- Uric acid
- Calcium oxalate
These substances first turn into crystals when there’s too much waste in your urine. Over time, they can form into a solid mass that continues to grow larger.
Many people pass small stones easily during urination. The bigger the stone becomes, the more difficult it is for you to pass it out of your body through your urinary tract. Stones can become lodged in the tract and cause a range of symptoms.
Warning signs of renal stones
Renal stones can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. The larger the stone grows, the more symptoms you experience.
Common symptoms of renal stones include:
- Lower back pain
- Cloudy urine
- Fever and chills
You might also notice that your urine smells much stronger than usual or see blood when you urinate.
When a renal stone blocks your urinary tract, pain can be intense enough to seek immediate medical treatment.
Risk factors for renal stones
Your risk for developing renal stones increases if you don’t drink enough water to flush waste out of your kidneys. Men are also more likely to develop renal stones than women, likely due to their tendency to eat a high-protein, high-salt diet.
Other risk factors for renal stones include:
- Cystic kidney disease
- Weight loss surgery
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Use of certain medications
If you have a family history of renal stones, you’re more likely to develop them, too.
Treatment options for renal stones
Without treatment, large or recurrent renal stones can increase your risk for complications like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and loss of kidney function.
Our providers at Urology Specialists Group recommend that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation as soon as you experience symptoms of renal stones. We offer diagnostic imaging technology in the office, so you don’t have to wait too long for answers.
Your treatment plan for renal stones may include:
Shock wave lithotripsy
Shock wave lithotripsy is an outpatient procedure that involves delivering shockwave energy into the stone to break it into smaller pieces that are easier to pass.
Cystoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure that uses a special scope to view the inside of your urinary tract to locate and break up or remove a stone.
Ureteroscopy is similar to cystoscopy, except the scope used in treatment is longer and thinner than a cystoscope.
During a percutaneous nephrolithotomy, our providers insert a nephroscope directly into your kidney through a small incision in your back. They can break large stones into smaller pieces or remove the stone completely.
Our providers can also recommend diet and lifestyle changes you can make to prevent additional renal stones and protect the long-term health of your kidneys.
Call the Urology Specialist Group office in Hialeah, Miami, or Miami Lakes, Florida, to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for renal stone symptoms or book an appointment online today.