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Kidney Stones – Overview

David Canes, MD David Canes, MD February 17, 2021


Today we're going to talk about kidney stones. When minerals or salts in the kidney form crystal deposits, that's called a kidney stone. Let's understand a little bit about the kidney anatomy. Most people are born with two kidneys. The job of the kidneys is to filter the blood, release waste products into the urine and also maintain the delicate electrolyte balance, salt and water balance, blood pressure control, and pH of our bloodstream. The kidney has two main parts. The outer meat of the kidney, which does the job of filtering the blood, and the urine drips into a hollow inside urine chamber up near the kidney that urine chamber's called the renal pelvis. Like a funnel that attaches to a hollow thin muscular tube called the ureter. The ureter squeezes like a snake. It's about 25 centimeters long, and it attaches the kidney urine all the way down to the bladder. The crystal deposits of kidney stones form up in the kidney, in the urine chamber. And they're usually sitting in little nooks and crannies up there, stuck in position. When they're in that location, they don't typically cause a problem unless they get very large. If they do decide to travel down the ureter tube, that's called passing a kidney stone and that's where troublesome pain can begin.

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