Kidney stones treatment Q&A with Mr Simon Choong

Leading Urologist Mr Simon Choong from London Urology at The Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth, discusses the best treatment options for kidney stones and  explains how to recognise common symptoms of the condition.

Mr Choong, tell us about your background and where you currently practice?

I became a surgeon in 2000 and have been working at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth for 16 years. My NHS practice is at UCLH.

How many years have you been treating patients with kidney stones?

I’ve been treating patients with kidney stones ever since I became a surgeon, so around 20 years now. It’s a specialist interest of mine.

What are the most common symptoms of kidney stones?

The most common symptoms are acute renal colic or haematuria (blood in the urine). If you experience a kidney stone dropping into the ureter, you will experience considerable pain and is considered a medical emergency.

If a patient is suffering with what they believe to be kidney stones what would you recommend?

I would recommend seeing your GP or booking an appointment with a Urology specialist who can evaluate you. If it’s an emergency we can book you in for a CT scan before your appointment to speed up the process.

What are the most common treatment options for a patient suffering with kidney stones?

Treatment options are dependent on the severity of pain and the location of the stone. Common options include uretero renoscopy with the insertion of a stent. Alternatively there is lithotripsy which involves vibrating the stone into fragments.

From an initial consultation how long would it typically take for a patient to undergo kidney stones surgery?

We can treat patients almost immediately if an emergency and theatre space is available. Otherwise the typical time frame is within 1-2 weeks.

How long does surgery usually take and what is a typical recovery timeline?

Surgery lasts up to one hour with a general anaesthetic. After surgery we allow a one night stay in Hospital to monitor the patient and ensure they can pass urine. A follow up appointment is also booked to remove the stent and ensure there are no more stones present.

Roughly, how many kidney stones procedures do you perform in a typical year?

I perform roughly between 150-200 kidney stones procedures per year.

What is the benefit of being seen at a dedicated Urology clinic like London Urology?

London Urology ensures patients get seen immediately and are treated at a hospital with world-class facilities. The nursing staff are fantastic and we try to ensure the patient experience is as good as possible.

Book an Appointment at the London Urology Unit.

London Urology is made up of a team of six expert consultant Urologists including Mr Simon Choong. To book an appointment you can call them on 020 7432 8297 or email

Flexible appointment times are available.

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Kidney stones treatment Q&A with Mr Simon Choong