Different Types of Kidney Stone Removal Procedures and Surgeries

types of kidney stone removal surgery

An estimated 10% of individuals may get kidney stones at some point in their lives. A kidney stone is a solid mass formed by substances found in the urine. Kidney stones can be of four different types: struvite, cystine, uric acid, and calcium oxalate. A kidney stone can sometimes be as tiny as a wheat grain. Some are the size of a stone. Some of them are bigger than a golf ball! Typically, the symptoms become more apparent with a bigger stone. Kidney stones may arise from a variety of factors, such as consuming excessive amounts of sugary or salty food, exercising excessively or insufficiently, obesity, etc.

Kidney stones typically cause lower back discomfort, blood in the urine, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and turbid or rotting-smelling urine. They also create irritation or obstruction, which is when they begin to ache. Urolithotripsy, shockwave lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, and ureteroscopy are all considered methods for kidney stone treatment.

Kidney Stones  Removal Procedures

The decision on kidney stone surgery is based on a number of variables, including the patient's general health and the size and placement of the stone. The most effective types of kidney stone removal procedures are listed below.

Shock Wave Lithotripsy

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a kidney stone removal without surgery procedure performed to remove kidney and ureter stones. Shock waves with great intensity are sent into the body to shatter stones into fragments as tiny as sand grains. These fragments are tiny enough to travel through the body with urine.

How does this treatment work?

When employing this kidney stone removal without surgery procedure, there are two approaches to remove stones.

1. One technique involves submerging the patient in a tub of warm water. The body is positioned such that the stones are accurately targeted using ultrasonography or X-rays to locate the stones.

2. In the second, more widely used technique, the patient is positioned on top of a soft cushion or membrane that allows the waves to flow through. It takes between one and two thousand shock waves to break down the stones. It takes between 45 and 60 minutes to finish the therapy.

How does this therapy compare in terms of benefits and drawbacks?

The key benefit of this kidney stone treatment is that it can cure kidney stones in a large number of individuals without requiring surgery. This lowers the likelihood of hospital stays, expenses, and recovery times. Sadly, not all kidney stones can be removed in this manner. Furthermore, further therapies are required when stone pieces are sometimes left inside the body.

Is anaesthesia necessary for the patient?

Anaesthesia of any kind, whether local, regional, or general, is frequently given to patients to assist them in staying still and to ease their pain.

Is hospitalisation necessary for the patient?

Patients stay in hospitals for one or two days on average. Lithotripsy may be performed as an outpatient in certain circumstances.

How does the patient anticipate recovery from treatment?

When the therapy is over, the patient can move around nearly immediately. In one to two days, many people are able to resume their normal routines completely. Although specific diets are not necessary, consuming lots of water facilitates the passage of the stone particles. Pain may start quickly after treatment and linger for up to four to eight weeks, during which time the pieces may pass. Taking an oral pain reliever and staying hydrated will help reduce discomfort.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or Nephrolithotripsy Open Surgery

These are kidney stone treatments used for patients with large or irregularly shaped stones, infections, stones not sufficiently broken up by external shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), or patients not suitable for ureteroscopy, another common stone treatment. This process is necessary for stones larger than 2 cm or the size of a marble.

A little incision in the back is required for both surgery for kidney stone in order to access the kidney. A nephroscope, a tiny fiberoptic camera, and other tiny equipment are inserted into the incision once the surgeon reaches the kidney. Nephrolithotomy is the term used when the stone is taken out through the tube. Nephrolithotripsy is the term used when a stone is broken apart and subsequently extracted. The surgeon can view the stone, break it up with high-frequency waves, and then use a suction machine to "vacuum" away the dust.

Is a hospital stay necessary to get this done?

Indeed. The patient will need general anaesthesia for this. They will require a brief hospital stay of two or three days, so they might take a week or so off from work. The process takes 20 to 45 minutes, depending on where the stone is located. The objective is to remove every stone possible so that the urinary system is not left with any stones.

What are the potential risks of this surgery?

There is a chance of bleeding, infection, and other consequences with even minimally invasive operations like these. The surgery leaves a hole in the kidney, which often closes on its own without further care. There is a slight chance that abdominal surgeries might harm adjacent organs, including the bladder, ureter, liver, or intestine.

Is Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy the only option for kidney stone removal?

Percutaneous stone removal may be necessary if the stones are particularly big, more than 2 cm, or located in a place where SWL or ureteroscopy is not successful. A very uncommon long-term risk associated with kidney surgery is high blood pressure or diminished renal function in later life. This is something one should discuss with one’s surgeon.  With these stones, open surgery is another possibility, but it is not always necessary. This procedure frequently eliminates the need for more extensive open surgery.

What are this treatment's benefits and drawbacks?

This procedure has the benefit of being the best method for ensuring that a patient is clear of stones. The majority of patients go home without any stones. On rare occasions, however, a different process will be required to remove a stone. Despite requiring an incision, this method of treating the kidney stone is less intrusive than an open operation. It is one of the most complex operations; thus, only doctors with specific training do it.

Wrapping Up: Do You Need Surgery to Remove Kidney Stone?

Surgery is usually saved for situations in which no other treatment works or when something goes wrong, such as a big stone that causes a serious obstruction or infection. The healthcare professional chooses the particular treatment plan after carefully assessing each patient's condition. It's critical that anyone exhibiting kidney stone symptoms, such as excruciating pain, blood in the urine, or recurring UTIs, consult a doctor. A medical expert can evaluate the condition, carry out diagnostic procedures, and suggest a suitable surgery for a kidney stone plan of action.