A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. It may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pearl. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without help from a doctor. But sometimes a stone will not go away. It may get stuck in the urinary tract, block the flow of urine and cause great pain.
The following may be signs of kidney stones that need a doctor’s help:
Extreme pain in your back or side that will not go away
Blood in your urine
Fever and chills
Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
A burning feeling when you urinate
Kidney stones are fairly common. Although kidney stones can be very painful, they are treatable, and in many cases preventable.
If the stone is large and is not passed spontaneously and after taking medications, your doctor may recommend ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy. The decision to have this procedure is yours.
Ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy is an outpatient procedure that uses scopes to reach the stone and a powerful laser to break it up. It is a very safe and effective way to get rid of painful stones.
During laser lithotripsy the urologist will thread a scope through your urethra, bladder and up your ureter to the stone. The doctor will then break up the stone into tiny pieces with a powerful laser.
Like any procedure, ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy has risks. Though complications are rare, knowing about them may help you find them and treat them early.