Kidney stones / ureteral stones (urolithiasis)

Under certain circumstances, an over-saturation of substances may occur in the urine, which then precipitate and form the nucleus of a stone. The stones grow by accretion.

A major reason for this is a chronically low fluid intake. Other reasons may be an unhealthy diet or metabolic disorders.A urinary tract narrowing with preceding bad drainage of urine may also lead to the formation of stones.

In most cases, the stones are produced in the calyces or pelvis of the kidney and then pass through the urinary tract (along the ureter, bladder and urethra) to the outside. Larger stones up to 1 cm can be released spontaneously, however this is more the case for stones up to 5 mm. Such larger stones usually require therapy.

Stones in the kidney typically cause no symptoms. If the stone keeps on getting bigger by accretion, it may become a chronic infection carrier and damage the kidney directly or indirectly.

A colic is thus not dependent on the size of the stone, but rather on how tense the ureter needs to be to transport any size of stone. Because the stone is not supplied with blood, it acts as a chronic infection carrier and may, especially in combination with stasis, lead to severe complications.

Diagnostics

Therapy

An active treatment depends on the symptoms of the patient, any possible complications and the patient's level of "patience". As long as a stone causes no symptoms or the patient is willing to endure the pain, active therapy can be deferred. As mentioned above, larger stones are also released from the body spontaneously. If one opts for an active approach, there are the following treatment options: 

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
Ureteroscopy (URS)

Do you have any questions?

Do not hesitate to contact us:

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Sat-Sun: +41 44 365 11 11

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KIDNEYS & URETER SELF-TEST
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Do you feel pain in your kidney area when you move?
Do you have blood in your urine?