Kidney stones do not always require surgery. If a kidney stone is relatively small and not causing pain, you may naturally pass kidney stones with help from medication and guidance from your urologist. However, if surgery is necessary, you can be confident in our experience because our urologists helped develop the minimally invasive techniques now considered the gold standard for kidney stone removal.
Depending on the type of kidney stone, your urologist may recommend a medication to help your body pass the stone or prevent future stones.
Shock Wave Lithotripsy
A soft, water-filled cushion is placed on your back, behind the kidney stone. Shock waves pass through the skin to break the kidney stones into smaller, dust-like pieces which pass out of the kidney in urine.
During this outpatient procedure, a small scope with a camera on its tip is inserted in the ureter. It allows your doctor to look for the stones. A laser may be used to break the stones into small pieces, which are then removed. Our doctors perform close to 400 ureteroscopic procedures every year, which places our volume in the top five percent of kidney stone treatment centers.
Large Kidney Stones Removal
If your kidney stone is two centimeters, about the size of a marble, or larger, you may require a procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Your surgeon inserts a tube with a camera at its end through one small incision in your back. The camera lets doctor view the kidney stone. A special instrument will be used to break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces, which are then removed. Most people stay in the hospital overnight and leave stone-free.
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Complicated Cases
When appropriate, kidney stones may be removed using robotic surgery or laparoscopically through several small incisions. These procedures are typically reserved for people with very complex kidney stones, for people with kidneys in abnormal positions, or for people with existing kidney-related health conditions.