Q) How many people a year have
A) Kidney Stones affect 10% of
the U.S. population. Kidney Stones account for a third of the common
afflictions of the urinary tract.
Q) Who gets more kidney stones,
men or women?
A) Men have a slightly higher frequency
of kidney stones (1.3:1) than women, with the exception of struvite
or infection stones, which are higher in women. The rate in women is increasing, likely due to higher rates of obesity.
Q) Do kidney stones tend to
form more in mid-life than in one's 20's? If so, why?
A) The peak incidence of kidney
stones is in the 2nd - 4th decade. After age 50, men have
a 6% incidence and females have a 25% incidence. The reasons
are (1) the young person concentrates the urine more than
the older person, (2) hereditary disorders, (3) metabolic
disorders (4) deficiency of inhibitors of cyrsal nucleation,
growth and aggregation in the urine.
Q) Why do kidney stone forms?
A) Most kidney stones form when
a chemical imbalance in the urine allows minerals and other
substances to become concentrated enough to form crystals.
The crystals build up on the inner surface of the kidney and
form hard masses that have come to be known as kidney stones.
Q) How large are kidney stones?
A) Kidney stones can be smaller
than grains of sand or as big as golf balls. They can be smooth
or have jagged edges or spiky projections.
Q) How are kidney stones treated?
A) Small kidney stones that are
moving through the urinary tract usually pass out of the body
on their own and mya take up to 6 weeks time to do so. Larger stones that are lodged in the kidney
or ureter may need to be treated using extracorporeal lithotripsy, or surgically removed.
Q) How long will I be at the
hospital and how long is extracorporeal lithotripsy (ESWL)
A) Plan on a six to seven hour
stay from the time you arrive at preadmission. The actual
treatment will take around 40-90 minutes. The extra time is
for you to be admitted, evaluated by the anesthesiologist
and other physicians, and to recover.
Q) What do I wear?
A) Wear comfortable loose fitting
Q) How will I feel after the
procedure and when can I go back to work?
A) People usually have soreness
in the back or flank area after treatment, this should disappear
after several days. It may take anywhere from 24 hours to
seven days to feel "back to normal". Most patients
recover within 48-72 hours and can return to work.
Q) Will I feel any pain, during
A) Anesthesia will be administered
prior to your treatment to enable you to lie still so your stone can be localized and treated. Remaining
motionless is important in making your treatment
much more effective. You will be "pain free"
during the treatment itself. However following the procedure you may experience pain at the site of treatment and may be given a prescriptio for pain medication. You should not drive while taking narcotic pain medication.
Q) Will I remember anything
about the procedure or know what is going on during the treatment?
A) Depending on the anesthesia
used, you may not remember your treatment.
Q) What is the purpose of the
ESWL (Extracoporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy), and is it safe?
A) The purpose is to safely fragment
your kidney or ureteral stones so the stone fragments can
be passed naturally in your urine. The treatment is safe and
complications of treatment are rare.
Q) What happens after the treatment?
A) You will be sent to outpatient
recovery for observation. When you have met the discharge criteria, you may go home. Please remember you will not be able to drive yourself home or take a taxi; you must have a friend or relative available to take you home.
Q) What happens to the stone
after the treatment?
A) Stone fragments usually begin
to pass within 24 hours of treatment, however delayed passage
is not unusual. You will be sent home with a strainer and
asked to strain your urine for seven to ten days to collect
these fragments. You will be instructed to bring the fragments
with you in a specimen cup to your follow up office appointment. The urinary strainer and cup should be provided to you in the recovery area prior to discharge. The stones will be analyzed so your doctor will know the
make-up of your stone. This information may
to plan a treatment program to prevent any new stones
Q) If I have any questions
about my ESWL treatment who can I call?
A) We at Midwest Stone Institute
would be happy to answer any of your questions (314) 835-1549.
You can also contact your urologist's office.
This Web site is intended for information only and is not a substitute for medical care or treatment by a qualified professional.
Any person who has or might have a health problem should consult their physician.