Piedras en el Riñón: Síntomas, Tratamiento y Cirugía de Excelencia en Hospital CMQ

A Guide to Dealing with Kidney Stones: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options at Hospital CMQ

Around 10% of people in the United States will experience a kidney stone during their lifetime

The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, geography, and dietary habits. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), around 10% of people in the United States will experience a kidney stone during their lifetime.

These small but annoying stones can cause intense pain and significantly alter the quality of life of those who suffer from them. In this article, we will explore in depth the impact of kidney stones, from their debilitating symptoms to treatment options. Read on to learn more about this medical emergency.

Are you having severe pain in the rib area? Do you have difficulty urinating or blood in your urine? You may have kidney stones. Visit your nearest CMQ Hospital:

Hospital City Center
322 223 1137

Hospital CMQ Premiere
322 226 6500

Hospital CMQ Riviera
329 2980717

Surgeons at the Forefront: Addressing Kidney Stones at Hospital CMQ

At Hospital CMQ, we are proud to have a team of exceptional Urology surgeons who lead the way in the treatment of kidney stones. Our surgeons not only have in-depth knowledge of surgical techniques but also understand the importance of providing personalized, top-notch care.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi or renal lithiasis, are solid formations that develop inside the kidneys or in parts of the urinary tract. These stones are formed from the binding of minerals and salts that accumulate in the urine. Our experts mention that these masses can vary in size and shape. “Kidney stones can be as small as a grain of sand or up to the size of a golf ball,” mentions Dr. Raul Meza, a Urologist in Puerto Vallarta with more than 30 years of experience. “Besides, they are not exclusive to the kidneys, they can move to other parts of the urinary tract and range in color, from yellow to brown.”

Piedras en el Riñón: Síntomas, Tratamiento y Cirugía de Excelencia en Hospital CMQ

Classifying kidney stones: What kind of kidney stones do I have?

Kidney stones can be classified in several ways according to their composition. According to our experts, the most common types of kidney stones are:

  • Calcium stones: These are the most common type of kidney stones. They are formed when there is an excess of oxalate and calcium in the urine.
  • Uric acid stones: These stones form when there are high levels of phosphate and calcium in the urine.
  • Struvite stones: These form in response to urinary tract infections. These stones grow rapidly and can be quite large.
  • Cystine stones: These stones result from an inherited disorder called cystinuria that causes excessive accumulation of amino acids in the urine.

Lower Back Pain? These are the Most Common Symptoms of Kidney Stones

The most common symptoms of kidney stones can vary depending on the size and location of the stone. However, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Lower back or side pain: This is one of the most characteristic symptoms of kidney stones. The pain may be sharp and sudden.
  • Pain when urinating: Some people with kidney stones may experience pain or discomfort when urinating.
  • Blood in the urine: Blood may be visible to the naked eye or by urinalysis.
  • Nausea and vomiting: If the pain is severe, some people may experience nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever and chills: If a kidney stone causes an infection, fever and chills may occur.

In addition, it is important to remember that some people with kidney stones may not experience any symptoms until the stone begins to move through the urinary tract. If you experience any of these symptoms or have suspicions of kidney stones come to our hospitals immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

For your convenience, our hospitals are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

 Why Do Kidney Stones Appear?

Kidney stones form when certain substances in the urine, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, build up and crystallize, forming a solid mass. The exact causes of why these substances form can vary. However, some factors that may contribute are: 

  • Eating a diet high in sodium, animal proteins, and sugars.
  • Dehydration.
  • Genetic factors or Cystinuria.
  • Underlying medical conditions such as obesity, gout, high blood pressure, and certain metabolic disorders.
  • Environmental factors such as increased temperature or summer.

Opportune Diagnosis of Kidney Stones at Hospital CMQ

A kidney stone diagnosis involves a combination of lab tests, x-rays, and assessment of symptoms. Upon your arrival at Hospital CMQ, our staff will begin to gather information about the symptoms you are experiencing. In addition, a physical examination will be conducted to detect the presence of pain or tenderness in the kidney area. Upon confirmation of pain, you may be asked to have a complete urine test. This test, performed in our Lab Department, is extremely important as it can reveal the presence of blood, crystals, or high levels of substances in your kidney.

Moreover, our Radiology Department will offer you the following studies to detect kidney stones: Abdominal X-ray, Ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. It is worth mentioning that these diagnostic methods may vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. However, an accurate diagnosis of kidney stones is crucial to plan an adequate treatment and avoid complications.

Expert Care: Outstanding Surgery and Exceptional Care at Hospital CMQ

Treatment of kidney stones involves a combination of steps, including increasing fluid intake and pain medications. However, in more severe cases, surgical procedures are necessary. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of kidney stone cases require surgical intervention. Kidney stone surgery is elective in patients with stones larger than 10 mm that obstruct the passage of urine, have recurrent urinary tract infections, and/or have a kidney injury. The types of kidney stone surgery available at Hospital CMQ are:

  • Urgent Care Surgeries
      • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): This is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made to access the kidney and remove the stones through a special instrument called a nephroscope.
      • Ureteroscopy: A procedure in which a ureteroscope, a thin, flexible device, is inserted through the urethra and bladder into the ureter to visualize and remove stones in the kidney or ureter.
  • Elective Surgery
    • Shock Wave Lithotripsy (SWL): This is a non-invasive procedure that uses external shock waves to break the stones into smaller fragments that can be eliminated from the body naturally through the urine.


However, it is important to mention that the type of surgical procedure to be performed is decided by the urologist. Therefore, professional medical management is of utmost importance.

Medications for Kidney Stones

In Mexico, some medications can help facilitate the elimination of kidney stones or renal calculi. Some of the medications such as Tamsulosin, belonging to the Alpha-Blockers Group, help to eliminate the stones.

Similarly, there are inhibitory medications that prevent the formation of new stones. For example, when there is a high concentration of calcium in the urine, the use of thiazide-type diuretics is recommended. Nonetheless, in case there is a low concentration of citrate in urine, the use of potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate is indicated to increase urinary citrate excretion. However, in patients with calcium oxalate stones and elevated uric acid, the use of Allopurinol is suggested.

Taking Care of Your Kidney Stones at Home: Diet and Tips from Our Specialists

According to our kidney stone specialists, there are several things you can do at home to help you cope with symptoms and prevent new stones from forming:

  • Stay well hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day.
  • Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. 
  • Limit your intake of oxalate-rich foods, such as spinach, nuts and chocolate, and reduce your intake of salt and processed foods.
  • If you experience pain, consult your doctor about the use of painkillers such as ibuprofen to relieve discomfort.
  • Stay active and engage in regular physical activity to help facilitate the movement of stones through the urinary tract.
  • Consider making an appointment with a nutritionist for personalized guidance on a proper diet to prevent kidney stone formation.
  • It is important to remember that these tips are general and may vary depending on each person’s individual needs.

Please remember that these tips are only general guidelines and may vary depending on each person’s individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kidney Stones

Passing a kidney stone within 24 hours is not always possible. However, some strategies that may help facilitate the passage of a kidney stone include staying hydrated, taking pain medication, and consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment.

It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water to maintain urine dilution. Additionally, consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice on dietary and lifestyle changes is recommended.

Kidney stones can cause intense pain that is often described as sharp or stabbing and may radiate from the back or side to the lower abdomen or groin area.

The first signs of kidney stones can vary from person to person but often include sudden and severe pain in the back, side, abdomen, or groin. This pain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine, and a frequent need to urinate.