Location Map FAQ
St. Maarten Medical Center
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney out of substances in the urine.
A stone may stay in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass all
the way out of the body without causing too much pain.
A larger stone may get stuck in a ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. A problem stone can block the flow of
urine and cause great pain.
No. Urologists have found four major types
of kidney stones.
Kidney stones may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. Some stones are even as big as golf balls. Stones may be smooth or jagged. They are usually yellow or brown.
If you have a stone that will not pass by itself, the Urologist may need to take steps to get rid of it. In the past, the only way to remove a problem stone was through surgery.
A ureteroscope looks like a long wire. The doctor inserts it into the patient’s urethra, passes it up through the bladder, and directs it to the ureter where the stone is located. The ureteroscope has a camera that allows the doctor to see the stone. A cage is used to catch the stone and pull it out, or the doctor may destroy it with a device inserted through the ureteroscope.
The best way for the Urologist to find out what kind of stone you have is to test the stone itself. If you know that you are passing a stone, try to catch it in a strainer.
The Urologist may ask for a urine sample or take blood to find out what caused your stone. You may need to collect your urine for a 24-hour period. These tests will help your doctor find ways for you to avoid stones in the future.
The therapy your doctor gives you depends on the type of stone you have. For example, a medicine that helps prevent calcium stones will not work if you have a struvite stone. The diet changes that help prevent uric acid stones may not work to prevent calcium stones. Therefore, careful analysis of the stone will help guide your treatment.
Drink more water. Try to drink 12 full glasses of water a day. Drinking lots of water helps to flush away the substances that form stones in the kidneys. Limit your coffee, tea, and cola, the caffeine may cause you to lose fluid too quickly.
The Urologist may ask you to eat more of some foods and to cut back on other foods. For example, if you have a uric acid stone, The Urologist may ask you to eat less meat, because meat breaks down to make uric acid.
If you are prone to forming calcium oxalate stones, you may need to limit foods that are high in oxalate. These foods include rhubarb, beets, spinach, and chocolate.
The Urologist may give you medicines to prevent calcium and uric acid stones.