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Laser treatment of lithiasis


What is a kidney stone?

Kidney stones or stones form when certain substances in the urine, such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid, crystallize and clump together. Factors such as dehydration, diets high in salt or sugar, certain medical conditions (such as gout or metabolic diseases), and family history can increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

Appearance of a kidney stone after being removed by ureteroscopy.

Appearance of a kidney stone after being removed by ureteroscopy.

What are the symptoms of a lithiasis?

The most common symptom is severe pain in the lower back or side, which may radiate to the abdomen, groin, or genitals. Other symptoms include changes in urination, such as frequent urination, cloudy or bloody urine, and nausea accompanied by vomiting.

Tratamiento láser de litiais

How is a lithiasis diagnosed?

Tests such as urinalysis to check for blood or crystals, ultrasound to detect stones, CT or X-ray are used to obtain detailed images and confirm the presence of stones and their location.

How is a lithiasis treated?

Treatment options may include pain medications, shock wave therapy (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy), endoscopic procedures (ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy), or surgery to remove large or problematic stones.

Some types of stones may respond completely to medical treatment (alkalinization of urine with potassium citrate) and do not require intervention.

What is a ureteroscopy?

Ureteroscopy is an endoscopic procedure used to treat kidney or ureteral stones that cannot be removed by less invasive means. It involves the use of a ureteroscope, a thin, flexible instrument that is inserted through the urethra and bladder to the ureter or kidney.

Once the ureteroscope reaches the location of the stone, a variety of techniques can be used to treat it. If the stone is small, it can be removed with a special basket that catches the stone and removes it. For larger stones, the ureteroscope may carry a laser or ultrasound energy source to break up the stone into smaller pieces that can be more easily removed or passed naturally.

In the following link you can better understand, and graphically, how we carry out this procedure:

Ureteroscopy is considered less invasive than some more traditional surgical procedures, such as open surgery, and generally involves less recovery time. However, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks, such as infection, urinary tract injury, or bleeding.

Before undergoing a ureteroscopy, it is essential to discuss with your doctor the specific risks and benefits of this procedure, as well as postoperative recommendations for proper recovery.

Can lithiasis be prevented?

Prevention of kidney or ureteral lithiasis focuses on changes in lifestyle and diet to reduce stone formation.


1. Adequate hydration: Drink enough water It is essential to dilute substances in the urine that could form stones. It is recommended to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of fluids a day, especially water. The amount may vary depending on physical activity, climate and individual health conditions.

2. Balanced diet: Controlling sodium (salt) intake can be crucial, as high levels of sodium can increase the amount of calcium in the urine, which contributes to the formation of stones. Reducing your consumption of high-oxalate foods, such as spinach, chocolate, and nuts, may be beneficial for some people. Maintaining a balanced and varied diet is key.

3. Control of certain foods: Depending on the type of stone (calcium, uric acid, etc.), it may be useful to limit the intake of foods that may contribute to its formation. For example, if you have a history of uric acid stones, reducing your intake of red meat, seafood, and foods rich in purines could be beneficial.

4. Regular physical activity: Staying physically active can help prevent stone formation. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and may contribute to overall tract health

5. Urological follow-up: Regular medical checkups are essential to monitor kidney health, especially if you have a history of kidney stones.

These prevention steps may vary depending on each individual and your medical history, so it is always advisable to consult with a urologist for specific and personalized advice.

What foods are rich in oxalate?

Some foods that are high in oxalate, and that could contribute to kidney stone formation in susceptible people, include:

1. Spinach: They are one of the highest sources of oxalate.
2. Beets: They contain moderate to high levels of oxalate.
3. Rhubarb: A plant that contains oxalate in significant quantities.
4. Peanuts and tree nuts: Almonds, peanuts and walnuts contain moderate levels of oxalate.
5. Chocolate: Cocoa and chocolate products can contain significant amounts of oxalate.
6. Tea and coffee: Beverages such as black tea, green tea and coffee also contain oxalate, although at varying levels.

It is important to note that although these foods contain oxalate, not everyone who consumes oxalate-rich foods will develop kidney stones. Susceptibility to stone formation depends on several factors, including the amount of oxalate in the diet, hydration, genetics, and other medical conditions. If you have specific concerns about your diet in relation to kidney stones, consulting with a urologist is essential for proper guidance.

What complications can having a lithiasis cause?

In addition to severe pain, a stone that obstructs the urinary tract can cause some complications, including recurrent urinary tract infections, kidney damage, severe urinary blockages requiring urgent intervention, and, in rare cases, chronic kidney failure.

This information is essential for patients with renal or ureteral stones, but it is always important to seek professional medical advice and care for appropriate treatment and follow-up.

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