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When substances that are normally excreted through the kidneys remain in the urinary tract, they may crystallize and harden into a kidney stone. If the stones break free of the kidney, they can travel through, and get lodged in, the narrower passages of the urinary tract. Some kidney stones are small or smooth enough to pass easily through the urinary tract without discomfort. Other stones may have rough edges or grow as large as a pea causing extreme pain as they travel through or become lodged in the urinary tract. 

TYPES OF SURGERY

There are many techniques for kidney stone surgery, and the choice of technique depends upon multiple factors, including the size and type of stone, medications you may be taking, your other medical problems and patient preference. 

  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL) 

Lithotripsy is a noninvasive procedure used to treat kidney stones that are too large to pass through the urinary tract. Lithotripsy treats kidney stones by sending focused ultrasonic energy or shock waves directly to the stone first located with fluoroscopy or ultrasound. The shock waves break a large stone into smaller stones that will pass through the urinary system. 

  • Ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy 

Ureteroscopy is a preferred method for the treatment of small-to-medium sized kidney stones located in any part of the urinary tract. 

  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) 

For exceptionally large or complex kidney stones, or for a large number of small stones in one kidney, the recommended method of treatment is percutaneous nephrolithotomy. 

  • Open surgery 

A more invasive surgical procedure using a larger incision to directly access the stone. 

  • Stent 

A synthetic, tubular device that may be used along with other procedures. A stent may be inserted through a special scope into the urinary tract to allow stones to pass more easily.

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