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Kidney Stones

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones is a medical condition which is used to refer to the presence of stones in the kidneys. Also known as renal calculi, the stones are made up of hard deposits of salts and minerals which get stuck in the ureter, kidneys, urinary bladder, etc. 

Kidney stones can affect any part of the urinary tract and develop in either one or both kidneys. While the condition is common in people aged 30 to 60 years, and it can affect anyone at any age. Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a ping-pong ball. Small stones usually pass naturally through the ureter whereas large stones may require surgical intervention. 


What are the Different Types of Kidney Stones?

There are different types of kidney stones depending on the substances they originate from. Most kidney stones are made up of calcium, oxalate, phosphate, uric acid, cystine (rare), and xanthine (rare). Knowing the kidney stone types can help determine the cause of stones and help prevent recurrence in the future. There are four types of kidney stones - 

  • Calcium stones -  These are the most common type of kidney stones which usually occur in the form of calcium oxalate. Calcium stones constitute about 80% of all kidney stones cases. A certain diet such as calcium supplements and metabolic disorders increase the amount of calcium or oxalate in urine. 
  • Struvite stones - Struvite stones are less common and usually occur due to a urinary tract infection. These stones can grow quickly and become large in size without apparent symptoms or warnings.
  • Uric acid stones - Uric acid stones form in people with a high animal protein diet. Certain genetic factors also may increase the risk of uric acid stones.
  • Cystine stones - These types of kidney stones occur in people with a hereditary disorder called cystinuria which causes the kidneys to create too much amino acid.

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?

Kidney stone symptoms vary from one patient to another. Some kidney stones are silent and may not cause any pain or discomfort. They usually pass on their own nature and may not require medical attention. Such stones are called ‘silent stones’. However, in severe cases, patients may feel immense pain and discomfort due to the stones. Such stones which require medical attention are termed stubborn stones. In rare cases, the pain may become so unbearable that the patient may be taken into emergency. 

Common kidney stone symptoms include the following - 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in your lower back or side of the body
  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain or discomfort while urinating
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Pink, red or brown-colored urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Foul-smelling urine

When to see a Doctor for Kidney Stones Treatment?

Kidney stones symptoms usually resolve on their own. However, if that does not happen, the patient is at an increased risk of kidney disease and may be taken to the emergency. Get in touch with a healthcare professional in case you experience the following - 

  • Excruciating pain that makes it difficult for you to find a comfortable position to sit
  • Sharp pain below the ribs and around the flank area 
  • Nausea and vomiting accompanied by fever and chills
  • Increased pain that does not go away

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Most kidney stones occur due to high levels of calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus in the urine. Our kidneys filter the toxic waste from the body through urine. However, due to low fluid intake, the concentration of toxic waste increases, leading to the formation of stones. Additionally, there are several risk factors that can contribute to the progression of renal stones. 

Risk factors that can increase the probability of stone formation include the following- 

  • Physical inactivity
  • Bring overweight
  • Excess consumption of salt in the food
  • Family history of kidney stones
  • High intake of animal protein
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Digestive diseases
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Medical conditions like renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism

How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?

Since most kidney stones are silent, it becomes challenging to diagnose the stones. However, if the symptoms are apparent, the doctor may recommend diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of stones. Kidney stone diagnosis involves a combination of physical examination and assessing your medical history report. Furthermore, there are several diagnostic tests that can help the doctor determine the primary cause of renal calculi. Diagnostic tests for kidney stones involve the following - 

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Kidney-ureter-bladder X-ray
  • Contrast-enhanced CT scan
  • MRI
  • Blood Tests
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test
  • Analysis of passed kidney stones

What are Treatment Methods for Kidney Stones?

Treatment for kidney stones varies depending on the severity of the condition, type of stone, location, size, and number of stones. The aim of the treatment is to remove the stone either surgically or through urine and further prevent the stones from recurring. 

For mild to moderate symptoms, kidney stone treatment involves lifestyle modifications, medications, therapies, and dietary restrictions which can prevent the condition from getting worse. Mostly, doctors stress the importance of staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water. Excess fluid volume in the body can flush our small stones. Medicines like pain relievers and alpha blockers relax the muscles in the ureter for smooth movement of stones. This reduces the pain and discomfort due to stubborn stones. 

In case of large or stubborn stones, the doctor may recommend surgical intervention which involves extracting the stone using surgical instruments. Depending on the size, location, and number of stones, there are four surgical options that can be effective in treating kidney stones for long-term health benefits. 

  • Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  • Retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS)
  • Ureteroscopic lithotripsy (URSL)
  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy/Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

Why Choose CMRI for Kidney Stones Treatment in Kolkata?

The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is one of the largest multispecialty hospitals in Kolkata. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology which has revolutionized the healthcare industry for the best surgical outcomes. 

In addition, our hospital has several eminent physicians, surgeons and healthcare providers of national and international repute for comprehensive and personalised treatment. CMRI provides patient-centric care and empathy from internationally trained nurses to ensure holistic care for patients seeking the best treatment for kidney stones. Here are a few advantages of choosing CMRI for your kidney stones treatment - 

  • Highly qualified and experienced surgeons
  • 440-bed capacity along with cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Hygienic and patient-friendly infrastructure
  • Screening and diagnosis
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Complete and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers.

Get in touch with our leading urologists at CMRI, Kolkata for the best kidney stone treatment.


What are the possible complications of kidney stones?

Possible complications of kidney stones involve -

  • Recurrent stones
  • Kidney failure
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Sepsis 
  • Injury to the ureter
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Abnormal bleeding during surgery
  • Intense pain

How to remove kidney stones?

Depending on the size, location, and number of stones, the doctor may recommend surgical and non-surgical methods. Non-surgical measures include medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, etc. Surgical procedures involve shockwave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, and nephrolithotomy. While non-surgical procedures are non-invasive and do not cause any pain, surgery offers long-term health benefits and almost negligible chances of recurrence.

Whom should I consult for my kidney stone symptoms?

Urologists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the male and female urinary tract. Get in touch with us to consult with some of the leading urologists for a high success rate.

What are the benefits of kidney stone surgery?

There are several benefits of undergoing kidney stone surgery - 

  • Helps in removing large kidney stones
  • Prevents complications related to kidney stones
  • Improves renal function
  • Eradicates ureteral obstruction due to kidney stones
  • Treats urine obstruction due to kidney stones

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