Ureteral/kidney Stones

Gulf Coast Urology

Urologists located in Houston, TX & Nassau Bay, TX

Nearly 9% of women and men will develop kidney stones during their lifetime, and once you suffer through a painful flare-up as a stone passes through, your odds of a recurrence increase. At Gulf Coast Urology, John Bertini, MD, FACS, and James Harris, MD, specialize in treating ureteral and kidney stones, eliminating current painful stones while also helping you prevent future problems. If you develop pain in your back below your ribs, call the office in Nassau Bay or Houston, Texas, or use the online booking system.

Ureteral and Kidney Stones Q & A

What are ureteral and kidney stones?

Kidney stones occur when minerals and salts in your urine crystallize and clump together in your kidneys. These hard deposits, or stones, start out small and often easily pass out of your body when you urinate.

However, kidney stones can enlarge over time, becoming too large to go through the small tubes or ureters that carry urine from the kidney to your bladder. When a kidney stone gets stuck in the ureters, it’s called a ureteral stone.

What are the different types of kidney stones?

There are several types of kidney stones:

Calcium stones

Calcium stones account for 80% of all kidney stones, with calcium oxalate the most frequent type. Oxalate is naturally in certain foods, and your liver makes it. Your risk of developing calcium oxalate stones increases if you consume food high in oxalates or have a metabolic disorder that increases the concentration of oxalate or calcium in your urine.

Uric acid stones

These stones form from uric acid crystals in your urine. You’re more likely to develop this type of kidney stone if you don’t drink enough fluids, lose too much fluid, or eat a high-protein diet.

Struvite stones

Struvite stones develop in response to an infection, such as chronic urinary tract infections.

Cystine stones

These kidney stones are caused by a rare, inherited metabolic disorder that prevents your kidneys from taking cystine out of your urine.

What symptoms develop due to ureteral and kidney stones?

When a stone moves around in your kidneys or passes into your ureters, you experience symptoms such as:

  • Severe pain in the side and back
  • Pain that comes in waves and varies in intensity
  • Pain that radiates to your lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain during urination
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urinating more often than normal

If you have an infection, you also develop a fever, a sign that you need immediate medical attention.

How are kidney stones treated?

Moderately sized kidney stones may safely pass through your urinary tract, although the process is often quite painful. Drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Your Gulf Coast Urology provider may also prescribe medication that relaxes the muscles and makes it easier for the stone to pass through.

When your kidney stones are too large to be eliminated through urination, your Gulf Coast Urology provider may perform one of the following treatments.

  • Nephrolithotomy
  • Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  • Ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy 

If you develop symptoms of kidney stones, call Gulf Coast Urology or schedule an appointment online today.

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