Women's GAMEPLAN for Health

Kidney Stones

The Department of Urology offers a spectrum of diagnostic tests and treatments for stones of all sizes and in all locations of the urinary tract:

Diagnostic tests

  • Comprehensive metabolic stone analysis: a study of the urine that is passed by a patient with recurring stones. Urine is collected over a 24- hour time period, while a patient maintains his or her normal diet, in hopes of determining the underlying reason for the stones.
  • Entire spectrum of radiologic evaluation
  • Metabolic evaluation

Urologist Ravi Munver, M.D., chief of Minimally Invasive Urologic Surgery, specializes in minimally invasive treatments of kidney, bladder, and ureteral stones. They include:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that involves the use of shock waves, which are directed at a kidney or ureteral stone, causing it to disintegrate into small particles. These smaller particles then pass through the urinary system naturally. Since patients are not typically given a general anesthetic, they can expect a quick discharge and recovery. Our state-of-the-art lithotripsy unit is the most advanced equipment available to treat all types of stones.
  • Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to treat stones located in the ureter and kidney. A small fiberoptic instrument called a ureteroscope is passed through the urethra and bladder and into the ureter. Small stones are removed and large stones are fragmented using a laser. A small tube or stent may be left in the ureter for a few days to promote healing and prevent blockage.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is used to remove very large kidney stones. The procedure is performed through a small keyhole incision. Surgical instruments are inserted into the kidney to fragment and remove the stone.
  • Cystoscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure using a lighted telescope inserted into the bladder and combined with laser treatment to break up stones in the bladder.

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