Some stones need to be removed by means of an operation. The decision to go ahead with surgery depends on a number of factors including symptoms and the risk of developing problems caused by the stone.
The type of operation depends on the size and location of the stone(s).
The different types of survery available are:
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): while the majority of small kidney stones can be treated using the shock wave machine (Lithotriptor), large stones are not suitable for this form of treatment and require removal by means of an operating telescope (PCNL).
- Ureteroscopy: while most small kidney stones are able to pass down the pipe which connects the kidney to the bladder (called the ureter), larger stones tend to get stuck. This results in severe pain, which we call ureteric colic. Most small stones will pass and it is just a question of keeping the patient comfortable until nature takes its course. However larger stones may not pass and in this situation additional treatment is required.
You can find out more about the above and other details about Stone Surgery on the Newcastle Urology website.