Kidney Stones Specialist in Hartford, CT
Nearly 9% of all adults experience the severe pain of kidney stones that travel through the urinary tract. Sometimes kidney stones pass out of your body unassisted, but other times you need a procedure to remove the stones. At Gerard Pregenzer Urology in Enfield and Hartford, Connecticut, board-certified urologist Gerard Pregenzer Jr., MD, specializes in safely eliminating kidney stones and creating a customized plan that helps you prevent future stones. If you develop severe pain in your back, side, or abdomen, call one of the offices to schedule a timely appointment.
Kidney Stones Q & A
How do kidney stones develop?
Your urine contains minerals, salts, and other substances that are usually dissolved in the fluid and eliminated when you urinate. When your urine is too concentrated, however, it has less water than normal and a higher concentration of these substances. As a result, they crystalize and form tiny stones that get larger over time.
The type of kidney stone you develop is based on the substance that makes up the stone. The most common kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones, calcium phosphate stones, uric acid stones, and struvite stones.
What symptoms develop due to kidney stones?
When stones leave the kidney, they can cause significant pain as they travel through your urinary tract. If a stone is too large, it may block the ureter and stop the flow of urine.
After a kidney stone leaves the kidneys, you’ll experience symptoms such as:
- Back and side pain just below your ribs
- Pain that radiates to your lower abdomen or groin
- Pain that comes in waves
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood in your urine
- Urinary frequency
- Foul-smelling or cloudy urine
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Urinating in small amounts
You may develop a fever if your kidney stones cause an infection.
How do urologists treat kidney stones?
Dr. Pregenzer performs a urinalysis and diagnostic imaging to determine the location and size of your stones. He may recommend managing your pain while letting small stones naturally pass through your urinary tract.
If your pain is too severe, the stones are too large, or imaging shows your ureter is blocked, Dr. Pregenzer recommends one of the following procedures to remove the stones:
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
ESWL is a nonsurgical procedure that uses pressure waves to crush the stones into small pieces that can pass through your urinary tract.
Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure in which Dr. Pregenzer guides a narrow scope through your urethral opening and bladder and into the ureter, which is the tube connecting the kidneys and bladder.
Once the scope reaches the stone in the ureter, Dr. Pregenzer uses a small wire basket to remove the stone. If the stone is too large, he uses a laser fiber to break up the stone and then removes the pieces.
Dr. Pregenzer recommends this surgical procedure when your kidney stones are too large to leave the kidney. During the procedure, he inserts a nephroscope through a small incision and into the kidney. He uses a technique such as ultrasound lithotripsy to break up the stone, and then he removes the pieces.
If you develop severe back, side, or abdominal pain, call Gerard Pregenzer Urology to schedule an appointment.