What is kidney stone disease?
Kidney stone disease is common with 1 in 10 Australians likely to develop a kidney stone in their lifetime. Kidney stones usually present with pain in the kidney region or blood in the urine or are incidentally detected when the abdomen is being imaged for other indications.
Types of kidney stones
There are several types of kidney stones including calcium oxalate (most common), calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite (infection stones) and cysteine. In many cases an underlying metabolic abnormality can be found and treated that will help in the prevention of further stones.
Management of kidney stones
Depending on size and symptoms, kidney and ureteric stones can be treated with shock waves, laser or surgery. Uric acid stones can also be dissolved with urine alkalinisation. In some cases, there is no need for surgical intervention. Management of kidney stones also involves investigation for correctable metabolic abnormalities that lead to stone formation as effective treatment of these abnormalities can reduce kidney stone formation.