Stone Disease

Clinical Care

Faculty experts at Indiana University School of Medicine provide clinical care for treatment of stone disease through the university’s partnership with Indiana University Health. They are researching new treatments and ways to improve current treatment options as well as training endourologists to provide clinical care for stone disease through the department of urology’s fellowship in endourology.

Ureteroscopy

Ureteroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small scope with a camera, allowing urologists to properly see and break up kidney stones. The stones pass from the body through urine. The stone fragments are then removed from the body with a basket so the patient does not have to pass any fragments. This is generally performed as an outpatient surgical procedure with minimal downtime and a low complication rate. However, a temporary urinary stent may be left in for a short period of time after the surgical procedure. Ureteroscopy is general reserved for small stones that are one cm or less.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a minimally invasive procedure where a tract is created from the skin to the inside of the kidney using an X-ray or ultrasound. Surgeons then break up the stonesand remove them from the body. A small tube or stent is left in overnight. Generally, the patient can return to all normal activities within two weeks. This procedure is reserved for larger stones that are 1.5 cm or greater or patients with complex anatomy.

Mini Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

This procedure is similar to standard PCNL, but uses a much smaller opening in the kidney. It is generally used for stone removal in children or for moderately-sized stones in adults.

Prevention

Faculty experts also work with patients to prevent more stones from forming again in the future. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as monitoring or changing a patient’s diet or prescribing certain medications. For most patients, a 24-hour urine study, which involves collecting urine in a container at home for a day, and a blood test is needed to perform a full evaluation. The doctors evaluate the tests and tailor a stone prevention treatment plan best suited for the patient.