Victor Carabello, MD
Nephrologist & Internal Medicine located in East Los Angeles, CA
Kidney stones are hard deposits that form from substances found in your urine. While small stones may pass without incident, larger stones tend to be painful — and they usually require treatment. Dual board-certified nephrologist and internist Victor Carabello, MD, treats worrisome kidney stones at Carabello Kidney, his patient-centered practice in East Los Angeles, California. Call his office or use the easy online booking tool to schedule your visit today.
Kidney Stones Q&A
What are kidney stones?
As one of your body’s primary waste products, urine contains a variety of dissolved minerals and salts. When concentrations of these substances are consistently higher than normal, they may form into hard deposits, or stones.
All kidney stones are small to begin with, but some grow larger over time. They may stay in your kidneys and remain undetected for years, or they may travel into the ureter, which is the tube that connects your kidney to your bladder.
Stones that reach your bladder pass out of your body — sometimes quite painfully — through your urine; stones that become stuck in your ureter can block the flow of urine and cause a great deal of discomfort.
What are kidney stone symptoms?
Small, inactive kidney stones don’t usually cause symptoms. But a larger stone, particularly one that moves around inside your kidney or travels into your ureter or bladder, may trigger:
- Intense back or side pain just below your ribs
- Pain that radiates into your lower abdomen
- Severe back or side pain that comes in waves
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Persistent urge to urinate; frequent urination
- Blood in urine; cloudy or bad-smelling urine
If a large kidney stone travels, your pain may shift to a different location as it makes its way through your urinary tract. If one becomes lodged, it may lead to an infection that causes you to experience a fever and chills, along with nausea and vomiting.
How are kidney stones treated?
After diagnosing your kidney stones with blood and urine tests and determining their size and location through ultrasound imaging, Dr. Carabello develops a customized treatment plan.
If you have a small stone that doesn’t cause discomfort, he may advise you to simply wait for it to pass by itself, provided there’s no sign of an infection or blockage.
If you’re able to pass a stone, Dr. Carabello may ask you to urinate through a strainer until you catch it. Knowing what type of stones your kidney produces is key to determining which steps and treatment strategies can help prevent future stones.
If you have a larger stone, Dr. Carabello may recommend an in-office treatment called shockwave lithotripsy (SWL). This procedure uses waves of ultrasound energy to break larger stones into tiny pieces that can be passed painlessly. Some large stones need to be removed surgically.
If you’re worried about kidney stones, call Carabello Kidney or book an appointment online today.