Companies such as Captozyme are in the process of developing supplements to assist in decreasing the prevalence of oxalate related kidney stones through enzymes in order for these stones to decrease in size to be passed easier. While this is important, there are those stones that become too large to be passed safely, or they may cause bleeding, and therefore require some form of rapid treatment. In these circumstances, there are several treatments that have been developed to diminish the stones or annihilate them in order to save the patient from any threatening damages. There are four common treatments that are used today.
The first treatment, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (or ESWL), is the most common for those requiring extra procedures. This solution uses sound waves in order to cause strong vibrations that are meant to break the stone into small enough pieces for it to be passed. This can cause bleeding, and bruises forming on the back and abdomen.
Another procedure done to remove kidney stones, known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy, is the surgical operation of removing a kidney stone through an incision in the back by using tiny instruments. This particular operation is occasionally recommended by doctors if ESWL failed to disintegrate the kidney stone. The surgery requires anesthesia and leaves the patient hospitalized for a day or two in order to recover.
Another solution for a smaller kidney stone other than ESWL is through the manual breaking up of the stone by a doctor. This doctor uses a thin tube with a camera called a ureteroscope to reach the kidney stone through the urethra, into the bladder, and all the way to the stone. Then the ureteroscope can break up the stone and the doctor can place another small tube in the ureter to assist with the healing of the kidney. Anesthesia is often used, whether general or local.
The last procedure is known as parathyroid gland surgery. This surgery is used when a calcium phosphate stone is caused by overactive parathyroid glands, just below the Adam’s apple. When these glands produce too much of the parathyroid hormone, the increase in calcium levels may produce these kidney stones. By fixing the gland, the doctor is able to also fix the kidney stone.
These treatments are all used in differing circumstances, and they’re all suggested differently by doctors, who may suggest one over another according to the kidney stone type, size, and other personal circumstances.
Whatever the treatment, better human health is the finished product.