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Why would my doctor recommend surgery to treat my kidney stones?

A doctor will recommend surgery to treat kidney stones when they are associated with continued growth, infection, obstruction (blockage) or pain. The intent is to prevent sepsis (bacteria in the blood stream) or loss of kidney function.
The primary surgical treatment options for kidney stones are extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL), ureteroscopy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL).
Kidney stones are sometimes too large to pass through the body, even after medicines and shock wave treatments. Surgery gives your doctor the option of removing large stones through your back, through a small tube in your urethra, or with an endoscopic surgical technique called ureteroscopy. These procedures are sometimes used to break up stones into smaller pieces. Your doctor may also find that a stone is causing blockages, infection, or kidney damage, and opt for one of these techniques to prevent further complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.