Approximately 2 in 1,000 people develop kidney stones during their lives, a condition that can cause intense pain. The experienced team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington, offers a wide range of treatments for urological conditions like kidney stones, including percutaneous nephrolithotomy. If you have kidney stones that haven’t passed on their own, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.
Kidney stones are deposits of minerals that form within your urinary tract.
Common kidney stone symptoms include:
If you have a fever and chills, you should seek emergency attention because this can be a sign of serious infection.
The skilled team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists offers several treatments for kidney stones, like noninvasive extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) and minimally invasive ureteroscopy.
ESWL breaks up kidney stones with shock waves so you can pass them easier. During ureteroscopy, your urologist inserts a small, flexible camera into your urethra, through your bladder, and into your ureter to locate your stone and break it up.
The urologists at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists also perform more invasive treatments for kidney stones, like percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or PCNL, is a urological procedure used to treat medium to large kidney stones. This technique enables your urologist to access stones directly through your kidney by placing a small tube in your back.
Your urologist might recommend percutaneous nephrolithotomy for a variety of reasons, including:
While this treatment is more invasive than ESWL or ureteroscopy, it's highly effective for treating large stones or many kidney stones at one time.
During PCNL, you receive general anesthesia for your comfort.
Your urologist uses an X-ray to locate your kidney to remove the stones. Once your urologist places a tube in your back, they create a small puncture to access your kidney. At this point, your urologist can break up your stones and remove them.
Once your urologist removes your stones, they send them for analysis to see what kind of stones you have and to look for signs of infection. They might also leave drainage tubes in your kidney temporarily while you recover.
It's common to have a short stay in the hospital after a PCNL, but often you will go home the same day. You should also avoid activities, including heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, for up to four weeks.
Call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.