Your Child's Treatment Choices
We diagnose kidney stones by taking your child's medical history and conducting a physical examination, laboratory evaluation, and imaging tests. Treatment depends on the size and type of stone, the underlying cause, the presence of urinary infection, and whether your child repeatedly develops stones.
If your child's kidney stone does not move through the ureter within 15 days, if fever develops, or if his or her pain doesn't improve, he or she may need treatment. We use several procedures to break up, remove, or bypass kidney stones, including:
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy: We use sound waves to break the stone into tiny particles that can be passed. This outpatient procedure is effective for stones in the kidney or upper ureter, but not if your child has very large stones or other medical conditions.
- Ureteroscopy: We insert a fiberoptic telescope (ureteroscope) through your child's urethra and pass it through the bladder to remove or break up the stones with a laser. We complete this treatment as an outpatient procedure.
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): We thread catheters through guide wires that pass through your child's skin and into the kidney. We manipulate surgical instruments through the catheters to break up and remove kidney stones. This procedure usually requires a stay in the hospital. Your child will most likely get back to his or her normal activities within two weeks.
- Laparoscopy: We make three small (3 to 5 mm) incisions, and your child's abdomen is distended with gas. We remove the stone through an incision in the ureter or kidney, which we then repair. Most children need to stay in the hospital overnight.