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Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones services offered in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, WA

Up to 1 in 10 people will develop kidney stones during their lives. If you experience symptoms like bloody urine, lower back pain, or nausea, seek treatment immediately. At Bellingham Urology Group, with locations in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Washington, the expert urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating kidney stones. Call the nearest office to request a kidney stone consultation today or make an appointment online. 

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are deposits of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. 

These stones vary in size. Some are so small they’re invisible to the eye and exit your body unnoticed. Others are as large as a small pebble and get trapped in your urinary tract, causing pain and other problems.

Do kidney stones present symptoms?

Symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Burning during urination
  • Severe lower back or side pain
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Fever and chills (if an infection is present)
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or grin
  • Urinating more often than usual

Pain caused by kidney stones may come and go or last for days.

Who is at risk of kidney stones?

Anyone can get kidney stones, but several factors can increase your risk, including:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Blockages in the urinary tract
  • Bowel inflammation
  • Digestive problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Gout

Certain medications can also make kidney stones more likely, including calcium-based antacids. 

How are kidney stones diagnosed?

Your Bellingham Urology Group provider reviews your medical and family history, determining your likelihood of kidney stones. Then, they ask about your symptoms, including when they started and what they feel like, and complete a physical exam.

If your symptoms indicate kidney stones, your provider orders ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to capture high-quality images of your kidney stones and their location. 

How are kidney stones treated?

Treatment of kidney stones depends on their size and effect on your quality of life. 

Small stones typically pass on their own. You can speed up the process by drinking plenty of fluids.

For stones too large to pass naturally, your doctor may prescribe medications such as pain relievers or alpha-blockers to help relax your ureter.

You might also benefit from a minimally invasive procedure, such as:

  • Non-invasive diagnostic testing
  • Robotic/laparoscopic kidney stone surgery
  • Shockwave lithotripsy
  • Medical dissolution
  • Medical expulsive therapy

Your Bellingham Urology Group provider may suggest waiting for the stones to pass naturally before recommending other treatments or surgery. However, every situation is different.

Call the nearest Bellingham Urology Group office to receive treatment for kidney stones today, or make an appointment online.