Operating to remove that kidney stone

  • Wellness
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2024

All these kidney stones were large enough to require surgery to remove them. — Filepic

Most small kidney stones can pass on their own.

However, kidney stones that are too large to pass on their own or that cause bleeding, kidney damage or ongoing urinary tract infections, may require surgical treatment.

Mayo Clinic urologist Dr Aaron Potretzke explains some of the different surgical options for removing kidney stones.

“Over the last several years, we have worked increasingly to make surgery even less invasive,” he says.

He performs hundreds of kidney stone surgeries each year.

One of the most common is a ureteroscopy.

“We use a very small camera – about the size of a telephone cord – to go in through the urinary tract and visualise the stone, whether it be in the ureter or the kidney, or sometimes even in the bladder.

“And then we would break that stone up, if need be, usually with a laser, and then pick out the individual pieces,” he says.

Another minimally-invasive option is percutaneous surgery, which may be recommended to remove very large kidney stones.

“So we make a small incision, usually about the width of a finger, in someone’s back, and then use larger instruments and cameras to look into the kidney and break up those stones,” says Dr Potretzke.

He says that doctors at Mayo Clinic continue striving to make those incisions even smaller.

“And that actually ends up mattering because, when the incision on the outside is smaller, the actual amount of meat of the kidney that you’re disrupting is quite a bit less.

“And therefore, we think that it, in many cases, may reduce the risk of complications, reduce the risk of pain and enhance recovery,” he says. – By DeeDee Stiepan/Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

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Kidney stone , kidney disease , surgery


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