The usual symptom is a severe pain that passes from the kidney area, or loin, down to the groin. The pain tends to come and go in waves and can be associated with nausea and vomiting. If associated with a urinary infection, there may also be fever, chills and shakes.
The main risk factor for kidney stones is dehydration. Diagnosis is made by taking your history, physical examination and x-ray and/or CT scan of the abdomen.
Kidney stones are a quite a common problem, affecting one in six New Zealanders. Kidney stones can run in the family and if you have had one before, unfortunately there is a reasonable risk you could get another one!
Treatment is aiming at getting rid of the stone(s) and then preventing further recurrences.
There are several different types of treatment, depending on the size, location and number of stones.
The three best ways to prevent kidney stones are:
- to increase your oral fluids
- reduce your salt intake
- reduce the amount of animal protein in your diet.
More specific preventative treatment may be required depending on the exact nature of your kidney stone(s).
Dr Davies is an expert at treating kidney stones. He specializes in endoscopic or minimally invasive treatment, using a tiny telescope that passes up the internal tubing without the need for cutting, stitching or scarring. A laser is then used to fragment the stone(s) internally.
Dr Davies is also able to perform punctures through the skin, known as a per-cutaneous approach, in order to get to the kidney stone. This is reserved for very large kidney stones only, that could not be treated successfully through an internal approach.
Dr Davies will go over your treatment options after looking at your x-ray and/or scan, examining you and discussing things with you in detail.