Kidney Stones Treatment in Marietta, GA
Understanding Causes and Treatments near Atlanta
Odds are that someone you know had a kidney stone. They are fairly common, affecting one in eleven people at some point in their life. There is no single cause for kidney stones, but educating yourself on kidney stones can aid in the prevention of them.
Dr. Nikolas Symbas is a board-certified urologist who provides comprehensive testing and treatment for kidney stones for patients throughout greater Atlanta. If you’re struggling with pain or discomfort that might be caused by kidney stones, please call (770) 428-4475 or request an appointment online to schedule your consultation at our urology clinic in Marietta, GA.
What is a Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances in the urine become highly concentrated. Though some kidney stones are so small that they pass without causing pain, they can also grow large enough to get stuck in the urinary tract, which causes severe pain and even bleeding.
Four different kinds of kidney stones can form:
- Calcium stones. These are the most common form of kidney stone and are often caused by high calcium and high oxalate excretion.
- Uric acid stones. Uric acid stones are usually present when the urine is acidic due to a large intake of certain meats, fish, and shellfish.
- Struvite stones. Struvite stones are a result of kidney infections.
- Cystine stones. A genetic disorder causes cystine to leak into the urine, which forms crystals that turn into cystine stones.
Diagnosing Kidney Stones
To properly diagnose kidney stones, Dr. Symbas will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your history with kidney stones, diet, GI problems, and other diseases and disorders. In addition to a physical exam and discussing your medical history, he or she may also perform a urine sample, blood test, abdominal x-ray, and CT scans.
Treating Kidney Stones
After properly diagnosing the kidney stone, Dr. Symbas will determine a treatment plan based on the size of your kidney stone what it is made of. Smaller stones usually pass through the urinary tract without treatment. Treatment options for larger stones can include:
- Shock wave lithotripsy. A machine called a lithotripter is used to crush the kidney stone.
- Ureteroscopy. A ureteroscope, which is a long, tube-like instrument, is used to find the stone with a small basket or used to break up the stone with a laser.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy. A procedure that uses a thin viewing instrument to locate and remove the stone.
How Do You Prevent Kidney Stones?
Preventing kidney stones depends greatly on the reason the stone is forming. However, focusing on your diet is the first step in preventing any kind of stone from forming. Reducing sodium intake, limiting animal protein, avoiding foods high in oxalate, and getting enough calcium are all important in the prevention of kidney stones.
In addition to altering your diet, some health care providers may also prescribe certain medications depending on the type of stone.
Schedule a Consultation for Kidney Stone Treatment in Marietta, GA
If you are experiencing symptoms of kidney stones and are seeking treatment, contact board-certified urologist Dr. Nikolas Symbas to discuss the treatment options available. To schedule your consultation at our urology clinic in Marietta, GA, please call (770) 428-4475 or request an appointment online. Dr. Symbas provides specialized care for men and women throughout Alpharetta and the Greater Atlanta area.
Kidney Stone FAQ
When high levels of minerals and salt exist in the kidneys, a clump of matter known as a kidney stone can form inside of the kidney.
How Long Does It Take to Flush Out a Kidney Stone?
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps dissolve kidney stones. In addition to flushing out the kidneys, apple cider vinegar can also decrease any pain caused by the stones. In addition, water and lemon juice can help flush the stones and prevent future kidney stones.
As stones move into your ureters — the thin tubes that allow urine to pass from your kidneys to your bladder — signs and symptoms can result. Signs and symptoms of kidney stones being passed can include severe pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and blood in your urine.
Citrus fruit, and their juice, can help reduce or block the formation of stones due to naturally occurring citrate. Good sources of citrus include lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
Once it reaches the bladder, the stone typically passes within a few days. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so it is important to follow up with your doctor if you do not pass the stone within 4-6 weeks.
Kidney stones can start small but can grow larger in size, even filling the inner hollow structures of the kidney. Some stones stay in the kidney, and may not cause any problems.
Yes. Calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and some cheese and oxalate-rich foods are beneficial for preventing kidney stones. This is because oxalate and calcium from the foods are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before entering the kidneys, make it less likely that kidney stones will form.
They feel pain in their abdomen, lower back, or groin as the stone passes through the narrow ureter and beyond. That can also cause some gastric discomfort, which is centered in the upper abdomen and can be dull and achy or throbbing pain.