Urology > Endourology and Stone Disease

Endourology and Stone Disease

Why choose Wayne Health for Endourology and Stone Disease?

Wayne Health’s highly trained urologists have expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic Endourology, minimally invasive procedures using small instruments such as scopes and lasers to treat tumors, blockages or abormalities of the bladder, ureter and kidney.

One of the more common such conditions is a kidney stone. A kidney stone is a small, hard mineral and uric acid salt deposit that forms inside your kidneys and may affect any part of your urinary tract. When passed, kidney stones can cause severe pain. Most kidney stones can be treated without surgery, but in cases of persistent pain or infection, it may be necessary to remove the stone from the urinary tract.

Wayne Health urologists use the latest minimally invasive techniques to treat kidney stones in the upper and lower urinary tract, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

Overview

What is Endourology?

Endourology refers to the use of minimally invasive techniques using small instruments to diagnose and treat kidney stones and other conditions. Stones may be extracted or broken up by inserting tiny instruments through natural body channels, such as the urethra, bladder or ureter. In addition to removing stones, our doctors evaluate the cause of kidney stone development and identify methods to prevent further stone formation. Thin, flexible instruments, including lasers, graspers, miniature stone retrieval baskets, special scalpels and cautery devices, can be advanced through scopes insert into the body to perform surgery without creating any incisions at all. The majority of endoscopic procedures can be done on an outpatient basis.

Risks

What increases your risk for kidney stones? 

Several things can affect your risk for getting kidney stones. These include:

  • How much fluid you drink. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Try to drink enough water (about 8 to 10 glasses a day) to keep your urine light yellow or clear like water.
  • Your diet. Diets high in protein and sodium increase your risk for kidney stones. So do oxalate-rich foods, such as dark green vegetables. If you think that your diet may be a problem, a dietitian can help.
  • Being overweight. This can cause both insulin resistance and increased calcium in the urine, which can increase your risk for kidney stones.
  • Medicine. Some medicines can cause kidney stones to form.

Your age, gender, and whether you have a family history of kidney stones can also affect your risk. But these things are out of your control.

Symptoms

Diagnosis

How are kidney stones diagnosed?

Kidney stones may be diagnosed when you see your doctor or go to an emergency room with pain in your belly or side. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you.

Your doctor may do tests to help diagnose kidney stones and see where they’re located. Tests include:

  • A noncontrast spiral CT scan. This is a special type of CT scan that moves in a circle.
  • An ultrasound exam (ultrasonogram). This uses reflected sound waves to examine your urinary tract.
  • An intravenous pyelogram (IVP). This is an X-ray test that shows pictures of the urinary tract and kidney stones.
  • A retrograde pyelogram. This uses a dye to check whether a kidney stone or something else is blocking your urinary tract.
  • Urinalysis and urine cultures. These test your urine.

An abdominal X-ray (KUB). This creates a picture of the kidneys, the bladder, and the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder (ureters).

Wayne Health specialists use the most advanced diagnostic procedures to identify and diagnose urologic disorders. These include:

  • Urodynamic studies – pressure and volume measurements of the urinary bladder and lower urinary tract
  • Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate (PROSTIVA/TUNA) – minimally invasive, office-based procedure that destroys excess prostate tissue, to help improve urination
  • Cystoscopy – use of a scope (cystoscope) to examine the bladder and prostate
  • Prostate biopsy – test to remove small samples of prostate tissue to be examined under a microscope
  • Bladder scan – ultrasound of the bladder to aid in the diagnosis of common urological conditions
  • Post-void residual and urine flow rate – an ultrasound test to determine the flow rate of urine during voiding and the residual urine in the bladder

Our approach to treatment

Wayne Health’s fellowship-trained urologists are skilled in treating virtually all types of kidney stones and other upper urinary tract disorders using endourologic techniques, incision-less procedures performed through an endoscope. State-of-the-art devices, such as endoscopes, surgical lasers, ultrasonic lithotripters and intraoperative imaging, are used to achieve the best patient outcomes. Endourologic approaches are also used in the treatment of various prostate and bladder disorders.

For more complex cases, Wayne Health urologists perform minimally invasive surgeries, making small (keyhole) incisions through the abdomen or flank, and inserting a sophisticated camera-lens system to visualize the inside of the abdominal cavity or organ and guide the surgeon’s use of specialized ultrasonic, laparoscopic or robotic instruments. Endourologic and minimally invasive surgical procedures improve outcomes, enhance quicker recovery and shorten length of hospital stay.

Advancing research and medical education

Wayne Health physicians and researchers are also faculty at Wayne State University School of Medicine who conduct basic, translational and clinical research. This makes the latest treatments and clinical trials available to you sooner than other providers without a medical school affiliation, and before FDA approval or commercial availability.

For more information, please visit the links below at the WSU School of Medicine.