Kidney Stones Specialist

Golden Gate Urology Berkeley -  - Urologist

Golden Gate Urology Berkeley

Urologists & Pediatric Urologists located in Berkeley, CA

Kidney stones can cause a number of alarming and painful symptoms as the stones make their way through your urinary tract. At Golden Gate Urology Berkeley in Berkeley, California, expert urologists Joel A. Piser, MD, Chi K. Lee, MD, Andrew J. Pienkny, MD, Daniel Oberlin, MD, and Greg A. Barmé, MD, offer safe and effective treatment for kidney stones. To speak with a urologist about your symptoms and learn ways to avoid kidney stones in the future, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Kidney Stones Q&A

What are kidney stones?

Also known as ureteral stones or bladder stones, kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that can develop inside your kidneys. Kidney stones form when your urine becomes too concentrated with certain minerals like calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. Once the urine becomes concentrated, these crystal-forming minerals can clump together, forming kidney stones.

Infections, dehydration, and genetic conditions are among a number of different causes of kidney stones. Dietary factors like high-sodium diets and not drinking enough water are major contributors to the development of kidney stones. 

What are the symptoms of kidney stones?

During the early stages, you might not notice symptoms of your developing kidney stones. Symptoms typically begin once the stones start moving through the urinary tract. The symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Severe side or lower back pain
  • Painful urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Passing small amounts of urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain in your groin

The pain caused by a kidney stone depends on its location. Your symptoms and location of your pain can change as the stone moves through your ureters, bladder, and urethra. 

How are kidney stones diagnosed?

If you suffer from kidney stones, an accurate diagnosis is key to determining the best ways to prevent kidney stones in the future. To diagnose your kidney stones, your doctor may perform:

  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Imaging tests (X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, etc.)

Your doctor may also want to take a sample of one of your passed stones for lab analysis. This thorough examination allows your doctor to plan your treatment and determine the best ways to lower your risk for kidney stones. 

How are kidney stones treated?

If your condition is mild, your doctor may recommend increasing your water intake to flush out your urinary tract or medication to help you pass your kidney stones. If your stones are large or are causing severe pain, Golden Gate Urology Berkeley offers a number of minimally invasive procedures to break up and remove your kidney stones. Your doctor may remove your kidney stones surgically or break them up using shock wave therapy. 

Even after effective treatment, kidney stones can recur. You and your doctor discuss ways you can effectively reduce your risk for future kidney stones. Your doctor may recommend certain medications to keep minerals from building up in your urine, or dietary changes like reduced salt or protein. To speak with a urologist about your kidney stones, call or book an appointment online today.