Kidney stones are made up of chemical crystals that separate out from urine. These crystals clump together to make stones. They form in the calyx of the kidney. They may stay in the kidney or move into the urinary tract.
Extracoporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
For certain kidney stones, a nonsurgical approach of fragmenting the stone with shock waves was previously used. These machines were enormous, cumbersome to use and uncomfortable for the patient. We employ the latest technology in our extracorporeal shock wave lithotripter. This new generation machine allows better imaging of the kidney stone with more precise delivery of the shock waves to minimize the risk to surrounding organs. Frequently, the treatment may be performed as an outpatient procedure with little disruption in the life of the patient. Our experts offer significant experience in performing ESWL procedures with great success.
With improvements in technology, smaller and smaller fiber-optic scopes have been developed to allow physicians to see inside the human body. Perhaps the largest advancements have been in the imaging of the urinary tract. Dr. David Duchene and Dr. Ajay Nangia are experts in the field of ureteroscopy and endourology. Their expertise in this area allows patients with kidney stones, tumors of the ureter or renal pelvis (narrowing of the ureter) to be treated without the need for an incision. In the past, patients spent weeks in the hospital after treatment for these conditions. Today, many of these procedures can be performed successfully as outpatient procedures.
Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy, or PCNL
Some stones or tumors of the kidney are too large to be treated with shock Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy waves or ureteroscopy and require a more aggressive, but still minimally invasive, approach. In these patients, a small tube can be placed through the back directly into the kidney to allow treatment of the stone or tumor. Dr. David Duchene and Dr. Ajay Nangia specialize in this technique. Working closely with our interventional radiologists, we have the latest in imaging techniques for this procedure, resulting in excellent success rates for our patients.