Kidney Stones Specialist

B. Robert Bamshad, MD

Urologist located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA

Kidney stones are associated with significant pain, and without prompt medical attention, they can cause other complications as well. As a top-ranked urologist in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Bamshad offers the most advanced care options at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, helping patients relieve painful symptoms and avoid serious medical problems.

Kidney Stones Q & A

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that form in the kidneys, typically causing significant pain. While some kidney stones can pass through the urine on their own, others require intervention to break the stones apart so they can be excreted by the body. Kidney stones can be differentiated by the type of mineral that causes them to form. The most common types include:

  • calcium stones that develop from high concentrations of calcium oxalate, common in foods like nuts, chocolate and some fruits and vegetables, and in people with high concentrations of vitamin D
  • uric acid stones, common in people who consume high-protein diets or drink too little fluids
  • struvite stones which form as a result of infections
  • cystine stones that develop in people with certain genetic disorders

Why do kidney stones form?

Kidney stones form when minerals and acid salts build up inside the kidneys. Usually, these materials are passed out of the body through the urine, but under some conditions, they can clump together and form small concretions that can become lodged inside the kidneys. Kidney stones are more common among people with a family history of the condition, but metabolic diseases, diet, medications can other factors can also contribute to stone formation.

What symptoms are associated with kidney stones?

Small stones may pass through the urinary tract with few or no symptoms, while larger stones can cause:

  • pain in the back or flanks, ranging from dull aches to intense pain
  • pain when urinating
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever
  • blood in the urine
  • strong-smelling urine

How are kidney stones treated?

Very small stones may be treated by drinking plenty of water to flush the stone out, sometimes accompanied by pain medication or anti-nausea medication to ease symptoms. Stones that are large or stubborn can be removed surgically using minimally-invasive techniques to break apart stones so they can pass through the urinary tract on their own. Diagnostic imaging can help determine the most appropriate approach.