Kidney stones can be warded off by preventive medication. A naturally-occurring substance, potassium citrate, is often used to assist in inhibiting stone formations. Many times, however, stones must be removed using certain procedures, such as the following:
- A cystoscopy uses specially-designed instruments and anesthesia to remove stones trapped between the kidney and the bladder.
- Stones in the kidney may be dispersed by a technique called extracorporeal lithotripsy, in which ultrasound is used to fragment the stones into powder that can be passed out of the body in the urine. The procedure is safe and relatively painless and eliminates the need for surgery in most cases.