Treatment worries eased by information, caring


TROY – Mary K. Rike knows kidney stones are no laughing matter.

That doesn’t stop her, though, from having good things to say about her visits to the urologist’s office.

Rike, a Troy resident, is familiar with the intense pain that can accompany kidney stones.

“I had four babies naturally, and the pain is pretty much like that. It is very painful,” she said.

She has been treated both medically and surgically the past couple of years at the office of Robert Kohut, MD, at Upper Valley Medical Center.

“Everyone, the nurses, anesthetists, the doctor are very informative to me and to my family waiting to hear about a procedure,” said Rike. “I was a little nervous. They calmed me down, got me through it.”

A Troy resident retired from the Troy schools, her most recent experience with kidney stones was the third.

Rike underwent a laser lithotripsy. “This is a surgical procedure where a small camera goes into the ureter and/or kidney,” Kohut said. “When the stone(s) are visualized, they are fragmented with a laser.”

Kidney stones do not typically cause symptoms until they drop and cause a blockage, he said.

“The blocked flow of urine causes immense pain in the kidney,” Kohut said. Other signs could include blood in urine, burning with urination, nausea and vomiting,” he said.

The best method in attempting to avoid kidney stones usually involves hydration, Kohut said. The typical recommendation for people who form kidney stones is to drink at least 2.5 liters of fluid. The amount can be higher if the person is working in hot conditions or working out. Decreasing sodium intake and avoiding a high protein diet also is sometimes recommended.

Rike said her family physician also suggested she drink real lemon juice added to her water. She buys lemons, squeezes the juice, and freezes it for use as ice cubes.

Kohut described Rike’s surgery as uneventful but said a metabolic evaluation was done because of recurrent kidney stones. The evaluation included blood work, urine tests and evaluation of the kidney stones. The findings resulted in her being placed on medication to prevent stones, Kohut said.

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