Urology Austin physicians use patient medical history, along with testing, to diagnose kidney stones.
Patients exhibiting pain or other symptoms related to kidney stones, will begin their diagnostic process with a thorough medical history. Patients will be asked about:
- Their past history of kidney stones.
- Any family history of kidney stones.
- Existing or past conditions or diseases.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Their dietary habits.
All of these answers will help the provider diagnose a kidney stone.
The Urology Austin physician will also perform a physical exam and typically a urinalysis. They will analyze these results to determine if the patient has an infection, or if there are substances in the urine (such as oxalate, cysteine, uric acid or calcium) causing kidney stones to form. The provider may also order blood work that will give clues as to how healthy the kidneys are, and if there is too much uric acid or calcium present in the blood.
Imaging tests to diagnose kidney stones
If the Urology Austin physician suspects that a kidney stone is present, he or she may order one or more imaging tests.
This simple, non-invasive test can help the urologist see the size and location of the kidney stone, as well as the kidneys, bladder and the ureters.
This non-invasive test provides an accurate picture of the kidney stone, while exposing the patient to less radiation than a CT scan.
The CT scan that is recommended for the detection of a kidney stone is called a non-contrast spiral computed tomography. This CT scan moves in a circle.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
MRI’s are another good way for physicians to detect the location and size of a kidney stone, as well as the condition of the kidneys, bladder and ureters.
The Urology Austin physician may decide that it’s beneficial to analyze the kidney stone after it has passed. The kidney stone is collected during urination using a strainer that will catch the stone. Once captured, it will be sent to a lab for analysis. With this analysis, the provider can develop a plan that will help prevent future kidney stones.
If you suspect you have kidney stones, contact us to make an appointment. Our urologists will use their expertise and training to diagnose and treat your problem.