Kidney Stones

Dr James Sewell has a special interest in the management of complex kidney stones and has particular expertise in percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) for large kidney stones. At Sewell Urology, we can provide all types of procedure for the treatment of kidney stones. The best treatment will vary depending on the size, location, and composition of the stones. Options include:

1. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): This non-invasive procedure is often used for small to medium-sized kidney stones. ESWL uses shock waves from outside the body to break the stones into smaller pieces, making them easier to pass through the urinary tract. ESWL is performed as a day procedure, with a quick recovery. Please see our information sheet here for further details.

2. Ureteroscopy: This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a ureteroscope through the urethra, bladder, and into the ureter or kidney to directly visualise and remove or break up the stone. Small stones can be removed in one piece, while larger stones will be fragmented using a laser. Ureteroscopy is usually performed under general or anaesthetic. Please see our information sheet here for further details.

3. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): Mr Sewell has developed a particular expertise in this minimally-invasive procedure typically used for larger or more complex kidney stones. It involves making a small incision in your back to access the kidney, and then using a nephroscope (telescope for looking inside the kidney)  and an ultrasound, laser, or mechanical device to remove or break up the stones. PCNL is performed under general anaesthetic and requires a hospital stay, usually 1 to 2 nights. Please see our information sheet here for further details.

4. Open/laparoscopic/robotic Surgery: In rare cases where other procedures are not suitable or effective, more invasive surgery may be necessary. This involves making a larger incision to directly access the kidney and remove the stones. These procedures are generally reserved for very large or complicated stones.

After any kidney stone procedure, Mr. Sewell will recommend measures to help prevent future stone formation. These may include dietary changes, increased fluid intake, and medication to adjust urine chemistry or manage underlying conditions contributing to stone formation.