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Kidney stone treatment

Posted By Jeff G on January 11, 1999 at 04:33:48:

Just over three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with kidney stones
for the first time in my life (37 yrs). X-ray, CT, and
ultrasound exams have confirmed its location in the left distal
ureter (near the entrance to the bladder) but disagree on the
size of the stone (US:7mm, X-ray:4-5mm). On US and CT exams,
doctors note mild to medium hydronephrosis. There has been no
evidence of infection.
During these three weeks, I've been to the ER several times
with acute attacks and have been hospitalized twice. During
this time, the stone has remained in essentially the same place.
I'm currently being treated with analgesics (and fluids) in the
hopes that the stone will pass on its own. If not, two
treatment options have been suggested: lithotripsy and
cystoscopy (removal with a basket).
1. How long is it advisable to wait before treating such a
2. What is considered the normative treatment for a stone of
this size and location? lithotripsy, cystoscopic removal, or
something else?
3. When removing a stone from the ureter using a cystoscope,
what kind of anasthesia is typically used?
4. I have been told to watch for certain symptoms indicating
the need for urgent treatment, namely fever or other signs of
infection. Should I be looking out for anything else?
Specifically, should I be concerned about a gradual
disappearance of symptoms (other than a dull, intermittent
lower back pain on the side of the stone) while tests continue
to show the presence of a stone in the same location?
Thank you in advance for your time and attention.

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