Treatment for Kidney Stones
In most cases, kidney stones pass out of the body without any intervention by a physician. People typically drink lots of water (two to three quarts a day) to help the stone(s) pass through the urinary system. If you choose to use this home remedy, be sure to save the kidney stones that pass through your body so your healthcare provider can have them tested.
In some cases, however, more complex treatment is required. In the past, the only way to remove a problem stone was through major surgery. Fortunately, other treatment options are now available, including:
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), which uses shock waves to break up the stone so it can pass out of the body
- Ureteroscopy, in which a small fiber-optic instrument is placed into the ureter to remove the stone
- Tunnel surgery, which involves making a small cut in a person's back to create a tunnel to the stone within the kidney (a special instrument travels through the tunnel to remove the stone).
(Click Kidney Stones Treatment for more information on this topic. This resource also includes tips on things you can do to help prevent kidney stones from coming back.)