Kidney Stones

Prince William Urology Associates

Urologists located in Manassas, VA & Haymarket, VA

Kidney stones can cause overwhelming pain, and you can’t always pass them on your own. At Prince William Urology Associates in Manassas and Haymarket, Virginia, the team of urologists helps men and women find relief from kidney stones, including by prescribing medication to help the passage of smaller stones and through lithotripsy to break up and remove larger stones. To get relief from kidney stones, call Prince William Urology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Kidney Stones Q & A

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones form when you don’t have enough water in your body to flush out the minerals, such as calcium, in your urine. The minerals harden into pebble-like objects known as kidney stones. These stones aren’t life-threatening, and they usually don’t cause lasting damage to your body, but they can be extremely painful and make urinating difficult or impossible.

There are several reasons why you might have too many minerals and not enough water in your body, resulting in kidney stones. Risk factors include:

  • Dehydration, because your body isn’t getting enough water to dilute the minerals
  • Diet, as animal proteins, salt, and sugar can cause stones to form
  • Obesity, which has been linked to kidney stone formation 
  • Medications, including certain diuretics and antibiotics, can lead to stone formation  

Kidney stones most commonly affect men between the ages of 30-50. There’s also a genetic component to the development of kidney stones. Not everyone gets kidney stones when they’re dehydrated, but if you have a parent or sibling with a history of kidney stones, it’s especially important for you to pay attention to these risk factors.

When do I need to see my doctor for a kidney stone?

If your kidney stone is only causing mild discomfort and you’re still able to urinate easily, you can probably pass it on your own by drinking lots of water and handle the pain by taking over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor at Prince William Urology Associates can also prescribe a medication to relax your muscles so you can pass the stone more easily.

Large kidney stones cause more serious symptoms and often aren’t possible to pass on your own. You’ll likely be able to guess based on the severity of your symptoms if you have a larger kidney stone. Schedule an appointment at Prince William Urology Associates if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Trouble urinating
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Pain in your abdomen or lower back
  • Inability to sit, stand, or lie down comfortably

When you visit Prince William Urology Associates, your doctor either determines if you have a kidney stone by using an imaging test, which can locate the stone, or by using blood and urine tests that can measure the levels of minerals in your body.

What treatments are available for kidney stones?

If you can’t pass a kidney stone on your own, your doctor at Prince William Urology Associates may recommend a procedure to remove the stone or break it up so it can be removed or passed more easily. Options include:

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy

This treatment uses sound waves to break up your kidney stone and is most effective for medium-sized stones.

Laser Lithotripsy

Laser lithotripsy is most effective on larger stones and involves passing a tube into your urinary tract and using a laser to break up the stone. Either the stone turns into dust, which you can pass on your own, or into small fragments that your doctor then removes.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Used for large stones, percutaneous nephrolithotomy involves removing the kidney stones through a small incision in your back

To get treatment for a kidney stone, call Prince William Urology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.