How to Pass a Kidney Stone

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Kidney stones can pass naturally without medical intervention if they are small enough. Pass your kidney stone with the help of a practicing nephrologist in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Kidney & Bladder Health
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Video Transcript

Hey guys, Dr. Sean Hashmi here with Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills, California and one of the Nephrologists here. So today, I wanted to talk to you guys about how to pass a kidney stone. Now, we've talked about kidney stones in the past and the one thing I keep saying is, size matters. The most important thing in a kidney stone is, how bit is it? If it's less than about four millimeters or so or less, most likely it's just going to pass by itself. You don't need to do much, you just need to hydrate yourself a lot and keep a strainer because we want to know what the composition of the stone is. If a stone is larger than four millimeters, then, as the size gets larger and larger, the chances of it passing by itself get less and less. So, sometimes your doctor may give you a medicine to facilitate the passage. Two of the medicines that we use and have used in the past include things like calcium channel blockers like Nifedipine and the one that we tend to use a lot more frequently now is Tamsulosin which is an alpha blocker. So, if you guys might know this, Flowmax. Now, these medications can help facilitate passage but ultimately if the stone is really large, let's say ten millimeters or above, sometimes you need surgical techniques to help pass it. So what are those? Well, one of them is Shock Wave Lithotripsy where you actually go in break the stone and that allows passage of the stone. So, just break it apart and you can go in and we call that urethra scope to go in with and actually pull the stone out. Lately, with the advances in medical technology, we've been able to use laser in terms of certain stones that are very near towards the entrance that we can actually hit with the laser, break it apart and then actually pull it out. So, there's a lot of options that are emerging. But in terms of passing the kidney stone, size matters and if it's small enough, it'll pass by itself. If it's a little bit larger, you may have to take a medicine and a lot of water to help pass it. And if it's very large, your doctor may tell you that he has to remove it surgically. This is Dr. Sean Hashmi with Kaiser Permanente Nephrology. Thanks so much for watching how to get rid of a kidney stone.


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