What is lithiasis? (Stones in the kidney or urinary tract)
The term “lithiasis” refers to the presence of stones that can originate in any part of the urinary tract. Said stones are solid masses that vary in size and are formed as a result of the crystallisation of substances excreted in the urine. Depending on where they form, they are known as kidney, urethral or bladder stones.
The prevalence of lithiasis, in terms of urinary tract conditions, is only surpassed by infections and prostatic disease; estimates suggest that it affects approximately 10% of the population. Men more commonly suffer from lithiasis than women, at a ratio of 3:1.
This pathology has a high rate of recurrence (reappearance): The probability of reappearance in the first year is 13%, in five years it is 35% and in the ten years following the first occurrence it is 50%.
Symptoms of lithiasis
Kidney stones can form without causing symptoms (asymptomatic lithiasis), or they can cause symptoms that manifest themselves in different ways, the most frequent and common is nephritic colic.
Nephritic colic is an intense pain that appears suddenly and unexpectedly. It starts in the lower back and radiates out to the upper groin and the genitals. This pain can be caused by the presence of stones in the urinary tract. Nausea with or without vomiting, a bloated abdomen, and difficulty urinating are common symptoms. Fortunately, the condition is resolved spontaneously in three out of four cases due to the excretion of the stone, which means that only one in four people require surgery or specific treatments.
Nephritic colic is typically treated with spasmolytic analgesic drugs. In cases where the stone is in excess of five millimetres in size, or is not spontaneously excreted after a period of observation, we offer a variety of techniques to achieve its elimination.