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How can kidney stones be removed?

Q: I am a 28 years old female and have undergone an ultrasound of my upper abdomen, which reflects that both my kidneys are of normal size (right kidney - 0.7x11.7 cm and left kidney - 5.2x12.0 cm), shape and echo pattern but there are two calculi measuring about 7.8 mm and 8.2 mm seen in upper and mid pole of right kidney. Kindly tell me that how serious is this problem, what precautions should be taken and how can these stones be removed? Is surgery important?

A:An echogenic shadow on ultrasound could be a stone, or some fat or scar in the kidney. A plain x-ray (or non-contrast CT if still doubtful) would be the next investigation to prove a calculus or stone in kidney. Kidney stones are common. Stones smaller than 5 mm may pass spontaneously and may be watched expectantly if there are no symptoms. Bigger or symptomatic stones require some form of treatment. This treatment could be lithotripsy, or invasive endoscopic removal, and is dependent on the size and location of stone. Your Urologist would be able to assess you with further investigations, and guide you to the right choice.

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