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.
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