Urinary lithiasis is one of the most frequent urologic pathologies. It is considered that between 8 and 10% of the population has urinary lithiasis without presenting any symptoms, but that it may become symptomatic.
It is estimated that approximately the 12% of men and 6% of women will have lithiasis throughout their lives.
The most frequent manifestation format is the ureteric colic, which is one of the most common urologic emergencies. It is a very painful pathology that in some cases requires hospital admission to be treated.
While there has been little progress in the medical treatment of this pathology, in recent years there has been a breakthrough in the surgical management of lithiasis, thanks to major technological advances.
Given the wide variety of imaging tests as well as therapeutic tools available today, it makes more sense than ever to create specialised units to manage the lithiasic pathology.
A variety of imaging tests are available when studying a patient with lithiasis:
- Abdominal plain X-ray
- Urological ultrasound
- Computed tomography scan
- Intravenous urography
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The prescription of each of these tests must be evaluated by the specialist, not only towards diagnosis, but also for planning the most appropriate treatment.
When a patient is referred to the lithiasis specialist consultation, a detailed study is carried out, starting with the medical record, and followed by a study based on imaging tests, as well as laboratory tests.
Once the pertaining study is carried out, the urologist shall formulate the most appropriate treatment for each patient. In order to do so, a plethora of factors shall be taken into account (size of the lithiasis, location, anatomical factors, associated diseases…).
Our unit has a long tradition of handling lithiasis, and continues to be a benchmark centre for the treatment of lithiasis, thanks to the availability of all the above-mentioned therapeutic techniques. The availability of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) equipment for more than 25 years, provides us with great experience in the management of lithiasis, as well as enabling the incorporation of new technologies and devices for a minimally invasive treatment of lithiasis.