A kidney stone is a small object that's formed when various chemicals including calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate collect in the urine. The urine contains waste, and when there is an excess amount in relation to the liquid, crystals will develop. Those crystals then attach to other elements within the urine to create a solid mass.
This mass can be quite small -- around the size of a sugar crystal -- but it can also potentially grow to the size of a ping-pong ball if not passed naturally during urination. The average ureter is just 3 or 4 millimeters in width, so kidney stones can easily get stuck. If a kidney stone is stuck, it may interfere with proper urine flow and cause other issues with the urinary system, including severe pain.
Several factors increase the risk of developing kidney stones. These include inadequate water ingestion, obesity, eating a high-salt diet, eating a high sugar diet, and lack of physical activity. A family history of kidney stones may also play a role. Most of the time, kidney stone risk factors are preventable. Healthy lifestyle is very important in kidney stone prevention.
At New York Medicine Doctors, diagnostics are performed in the office. Based on patient symptoms, Dr. Shusterman can often make a preliminary diagnosis of kidney stones. This is typically followed by ultrasounds that will allow Dr. Shusterman to see the size and location of the kidney stones.
New York Medicine Doctors offers same-day treatment for kidney stones, including emergency treatment when it's needed. All kidney stone treatments can be done in the New York Medicine Doctors offices, and nonsurgical treatments are almost always available. Nonsurgical stone-cracking treatments can destroy kidney stones, shattering them into such small pieces that are then easily passed during normal urination. Kidney stones are blasted with laser and sound waves to bring about fast and pain-free stone destruction.
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