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What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are made up of minerals and salts found in urine. When certain minerals reach high levels, kidney stones can form. Smaller stones tend to not cause many problems, unless they get lodged in the ureter (hollow tube that connects the kidney to the bladder).

What are the symptoms of kidney stones?

Symptoms of kidney stones can include pain in your flank (back) that radiates to your groin, along with nausea and possibly vomiting. Some patients can have visible blood in the urine, but not all do.
Some patients can experience problems with urinating, specifically having the constant urge to urinate or going frequently.


When discussing kidney stone treatment, I tell patients that kidney stones are like real estate—Size and location matter!!

Treatment can be non-invasive such as shock-wave lithotripsy or minimally-invasive such as laser lithotripsy (endoscopic treatment) or a percutaneous procedure where I make a small half-inch incision in your flank and look directly into your kidney and remove the stone.

Depending on your stone’s size and location, treatment recommendations will vary.

For the majority of patients, your stone can be treated with little downtime from work and other activities of living. Some people are at work the following day!

What about the prevention of kidney stones?

There are several different types of kidney stones, but generally speaking staying well hydrated (and avoiding dehydration) will really make a big impact on inhibiting stone formation. Stone patients should be drinking enough fluids to make 2 liters of urine daily. Decreasing your sodium intake and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will also help keep you from forming stones.

Some patients need to start medications to help prevent the formation of kidney stones. After a couple simple blood and urine tests, Dr Mutter can help guide you to the path to stone prevention!

Click here to schedule your consultation with Dr. Mutter, Kidney Stone Specialist

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