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Understanding Kidney stones - Stones in the Urinary Tract

Symptoms : 

  • Sharp cramping or dull aching pain
  • Pain comes and goes in waves
  • A feeling of intense need to urinate
  • Burning in urine
  • Sometimes blood tinged urine

What causes stones?

  • Dehydration
  • Drinking less water
  • Hot climate and less water intake
  • Preference for sea food

How much water must you drink?

At least 2.5-3 L/ day

Caution – you must not have a heart or kidney problem

What do you do if you have a stone?

  • You must show a urologist
  • Even if the pain is gone you still need a check up
  • You need to check if the stone is not damaging your kidney
  • You need to check if new stones are not being formed

Q 1) What do I do to help prevent kidney stones?


  • To help prevent kidney stones, drink plenty of water min 10-12 glasses.
  • If you observe symptoms of kidney stone, such as pain, nausea & vomiting, blood in urine, more frequent urination, fever & chills, please meet your doctor immediately.
  • Your doctor will do simple & economical blood & urine tests & ultrasonography(USG) to confirm the stone & decides the treatment accordingly.
  • If you want to avoid repetition of stone forming you may have to change your diet & continue on medication (please discuss with your doctor).
  • Most stones pass on their own. Treatment may be needed if a stone is too large to pass, blocks the flow of urine, or causes infections, kidney damage or constant bleeding.

Q 2) What are the treatments available for kidney stones?

A) If kidney stone is confirmed, drink plenty of water min. 3-4 lit. because most of the stones pass on their own. Check the diet; take advice from your doctor.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): In this treatment, shock waves from a source outside the body are focused on stone & when it hits stone, it breaks down in small fragments that can pass out of the body with urine. Patients may feel some pain as the stone fragments pass through the urinary tract.

Percutaneous stone removal: this treatment may be used when stone is very large or located in an area where ESWL is not effective. Surgeon makes a very small incision in the back & creates a tunnel into the kidney. The stone is then removed through a tube called nephroscope. Patient usually is being hospitalized for 1 or 2 days.

Urethroscopic Stone removal: Surgeon passes a small fiber optic instrument through the urethra & bladder into the ureters. Once the stone is located, it is removed with a cage-like device or shattered with laser beams or shock waves.


By - Dr. Umesh Khanna

Chairman, Mumbai kidney Foundation

Trustee, Sapiens Health Foundation

Secretary, Amar Gandhi Foundation 

  Lancelot Kidney & GI centre,D1/D2,Bharat baugh,Lancelot compound, SV Road Borivali West Mumbai 400092
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