Kidney Stone Treatments Your Doctor Might Recommend

Kidney stones can be so painful that you end up in the emergency room. Some kidney stones only cause mild pain, but others can cause sharp pain, painful urination, nausea, fever, and vomiting. Whether your pain is mild or severe, you want to get rid of your stones fast. Here are some kidney stone treatments your doctor might recommend depending on the size of your stones.

Flush The Stones Out By Drinking Water

If you have small stones or a single small stone and the pain isn't too bad, your doctor might recommend flushing the stones out by drinking water. You may need to take over-the-counter pain medications to help your discomfort as the stones slowly work their way through your urinary tract. It might take several days for the stones to pass, and if they're small enough, the process might not be too difficult to endure.

Break Up Big Stones With Shock Waves

Some kidney stones get so large that they can't pass through your urinary tract without blocking it. Large stones can also be very painful and need immediate help. Your doctor might decide to break up a big stone with shock wave treatments. This doesn't eliminate the stone, it just breaks a big stone into smaller parts so the smaller pieces can pass through your urinary tract by themselves over the course of several weeks.

Shock wave treatments are given with you sedated or under anesthesia so you don't feel any pain. The treatments might be done as an outpatient so you can go home once you're alert. However, in some cases, you might need to stay in the hospital after the procedure. This procedure takes a couple of days to recover from, and then you can resume all your usual activities.

Use Surgery To Remove A Big Stone

Kidney stone removal can be done through surgery. This might be necessary when you have a very large stone or when your kidney stones are accompanied by an infection. The doctor makes an incision in your back and removes the stone or stones through your kidney one of two ways. With one method, the doctor pulls a stone out in one piece. With the other method, the doctor uses sound waves to bust up the stone, and then the fragments are suctioned out.

This type of kidney stone treatment requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay of a few days. After this procedure, your kidney should be free of stones so you don't have to go through the process of flushing out the fragments.