About Kidney Stones

Are you experiencing pain in your side and back, pain while urinating, and nausea? The symptoms that you experience with kidney stones can change as the stone moves through your urinary tract. Understanding kidney stones can help you know when to seek medical attention.

Kidney stones are common and extremely painful, yet a highly treatable condition. In Southern California we see a higher occurrence rate because of our warm, dry climate. More than 10% of men and approximately 8% of women suffer from kidney stones in their lifetime. The UCI Kidney Stone Center is here to change that. Our focus is on treating and preventing stone recurrence, so patients remain stone free.

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Kidney stones are made up of tiny crystals. They may form one at a time or several may form all at once.

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Diet, environment, geographic location, and family history may play a part in the formation of kidney stones.

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Some stones pass by themselves, but the ones that don’t require treatment to relieve pain and allow the passage of urine.

Typically, stones that don’t pass on their own may require one of several procedures to break them up and remove them. UCI Health is home to advanced, non-invasive technology to break up kidney stones. This state-of-the-art technology is housed in a dedicated surgical suite with a dedicated staff to provide outstanding kidney stone care.

Additionally, we offer minimally invasive endoscopic and robotic procedures to remove larger or harder stones.  At our center, we have not needed to resort to standard open surgery to remove a kidney stone in over 20 years.  In addition, we provide our patients with a meticulous metabolic evaluation to help guide medical therapy in order to prevent kidney stone recurrence.

Treatments include:

  • Groundbreaking, shockwave lithotripsy technology that provides accurate stone targeting.
  • Ureteroscopy (no incision) with rigid and flexible endoscopes utilizing the latest in laser technology.
  • Percutaneous surgery (PCNL) (1/2 inch incision in the back) with rigid and flexible endoscopes employing the latest in laser technology.