Kidney Stone Treatments

The Northwestern Medicine Department of Urology treats adult and pediatric kidney stones and kidney infections. Specific treatment for kidney stones will be determined by your physician based on:

  • Your age, overall health and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease

Treatments may include:

  • Increasing your intake of fluids to flush out the stone
  • Analgesics for pain
  • Ureteroscopy: using a small scope to view and remove the stone
  • Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL): using high-energy acoustic pulses to break up the stone into smaller pieces
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL): removing the stone through a small incision in the back

If you have had a kidney stone, your physician may recommend certain preventive measures to avoid a second incidence, including:

  • Increasing fluids on an ongoing basis
  • Increasing consumption of citric acid, which is found in citrus fruits
  • Limiting calcium intake, either in your diet or dietary supplements
  • Limiting animal protein
  • Limiting foods that contain oxalate, including leafy vegetables, soy, rhubarb and chocolate
  • Controlling high blood pressure