Kidney stones treatment options, types and surgery

Dr. Med. Stephan Bauer, urologist at the leading Hirslanden Clinic in Zürich talks in depth about kidney stone treatments and minimally invasive procedures in this exclusive interview.

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What are the latest developments for kidney stone treatment?

The therapy of calculus in the urinary tract has changed fundamentally in the last years. In former times, an open surgery had to be performed or a shockwave therapy from the outside was used to remove the stones. Nowadays we make use of the smallest and most sensitive endoscopic instruments as well as the body’s natural orifices to shatter and remove the stones. The most frequently performed procedure today and therefore the golden standard treatment of the ureter and kidney stones, is the URS with laser (ureterorenoscopic procedure).

What interventions are “old fashioned” and what makes new treatments better?

The distinctive feature in these new methods is the minimal impact on the body by making use of the natural orifices. The laser-technology enables us to reach an almost 100% stonefree result. This minimally invasive procedure hardly leads to complications and achieves the best results.

Can kidney stones be treated with orthodox medicine?

No kidney stones can be treated by way of medication. After the stone removal, an exact analysis of the calculus needs to be performed. Depending on the stone composition, a medication can be perscribed in order to avoid new formations of calculus. In rare cases, stones can be disintegrated by way of medication. In this case however, a profound diagnostic should be made beforehand.

Can a specific diet help to reduce kidney stones?

It depends on how often the patient experiences recurrent stone diseases. The main issue in our society is the very low intake of water during the day. For patients with a high stone recurrence rate and with a specific stone composition, an adapted diet to treat the stones makes sense.
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