Treatment for Kidney Stones, Kidney Cancer, & Other Conditions
A leader in the field of urologic care for men and women, Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona specializes in the treatment of a broad range of kidney conditions, including kidney stones, kidney cancer, and ureteral obstructions and strictures. By providing the most advanced and minimally invasive options in kidney treatments, like lithotripsy for kidney stones, robotic kidney surgery, ureteral stenting and ureterectomy, the urologists of our Arizona-based practice succeed in alleviating the painful, and at times, life threatening effects of kidney conditions.
Kidney Stone Treatments at Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona
When kidney stones form and are too large to pass, men may experience a range of urology problems such as painful and frequent urination, severe lower back and abdominal pain, nausea, and fever. In the past, large kidney stones that were blocking the flow of urine required surgical intervention. Today, advances in minimally invasive technology have ushered in a new era of kidney stone treatments, including, but not limited to:
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): In this form of kidney stone treatment, the Doctors of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona locate the stones using an X-Ray or ultrasound. The stones are then targeted with external high-energy sound waves that break the stones into smaller pieces that are small enough to pass through the urinary tract.
- Holmium Laser Lithotripsy: This minimally invasive treatment for kidney stones involves the insertion of an endoscope into the urethra (ureteroscope). A small fiber is then inserted into the scope to reach the location of the kidney stones. Laser energy is emitted, breaking the stones apart. The remaining fragments are passed naturally or extracted using a ureteroscope.
- Ureteroscopy: During a ureteroscopy, urologists guide a ureteroscope through the bladder and ureter to the location of the kidney stone. Using small forceps attached to the end of the scope, the stones are retrieved and removed.
Advanced Kidney Cancer Treatments
Should diagnostic testing reveal the presence of kidney cancer, there are a number of treatment options that can be explored, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, cryoablation, and surgery. The Surgeons of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona specialize in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic-assisted nephrectomy procedures. Less invasive than traditional open surgery, radical and partial nephrectomy offers patients the benefits of a reduced hospital stay, less damage to surrounding tissues and muscles, and a quicker return to everyday activities. Procedure highlights include:
- Laparoscopic Nephrectomy (Kidney Surgery): Unlike an open radical nephrectomy, a laparoscopic nephrectomy is performed through a series of small incisions called ports. Within these ports, urologic surgeons place an endoscope to visualize the operating site, and instrumentation to perform surgical tasks.
- Robotic-assisted Partial/Radical Laparoscopic Nephrectomy: As with the laparoscopic nephrectomy, a robotic-assisted nephrectomy is performed through a series of ports. However, in this advanced procedure, the surgeon’s actions are carried out by robotic arms equipped with wristed instrumentation. The surgeon guides the movement of the arms using a patient-side surgical console. The enhanced precision and control afforded by this minimally invasive procedure has led many to consider robotic surgery as the approach of choice for the removal of cancerous kidney tissue.
Ureteral Obstructions, Strictures & Cancer
Obstructions or strictures of the ureters, tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, are notoriously painful and if left untreated, potentially life threatening. The urologic specialists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona offer the following treatment options for males affected with ureter obstructions, strictures, or cancer:
- Robotic-assisted Pyeloplasty: In this minimally invasive procedure, Urologists remove and repair ureter obstructions using surgeon-controlled robotic arms and instrumentation.
- Ureterectomy: To eradicate cancer, all of or a portion of the ureter is removed by laparoscopic or robotic means.
- Ureteral Stenting: A flexible tube that is inserted into the ureter, a ureteral stent, enables the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder.