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Kidney Stones Santa Monica, CA

High levels of the minerals and salts found in urine contribute to the formation of kidney stones. These deposits of salts and minerals begin small and can grow larger as the buildup increases. When kidney stones form and stay in the kidney, they may not cause any problems.

The kidney is connected to the bladder by a tube called the ureter. If small enough, kidney stones can move out of the kidney into the ureter and down to the bladder where they can be passed through urination. If the kidney stone becomes stuck in the ureter, it blocks the flow of urine from the kidney. This blockage can cause intense pain.

Generally, 80% of the kidney stones formed are made from calcium. These stones are either calcium phosphate or calcium oxalate. The latter type is the most common. Too much calcium in the urine can lead to the development of these stones, but they also develop for other reasons even when calcium levels are normal.

Another type of kidney stone contains uric acid. These stones are made from uric acid crystals that develop when the urine is acidic. Chemical changes in the body can create uric acid, which is a waste product. Obesity, chronic diarrhea, high blood sugar, gout and too much protein in the diet with not enough fiber all contribute to acidic urine. Uric acid crystals cannot dissolve in acidic urine and as a result, uric acid stones are created.

Two other types of kidney stones, struvite/infection stones and cystine stones are rare. The former comes from chronic urinary tract infections. These stones form in alkaline urine. They can be large and fast-growing, often with branches. Cystine stones are the result of a rare, inherited metabolic disorder that causes too much cystine to be in the urine. This condition usually begins in childhood.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

If the pain is not debilitating, you can wait for the kidney stone to pass on its own. Smaller stones often pass without any intervention. As long as no infection develops, it is safe to wait a month or so. During this time, it is important to drink plenty of water and pain medication may be needed.

Medication can be used to help a stone pass. Pain relievers will help with discomfort, and medication to relax the ureter so the stone can pass easily can help. Sometimes nausea is an issue. For this situation, anti-nausea medication may be prescribed.

Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) is used to shatter the kidney stones so they can easily pass through the ureter and bladder. This method works best on smaller, softer stones.

Large kidney stones can be treated with percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). This method requires a small incision to be made. A rigid telescope (nephroscope) is inserted into the hollow part of the kidney through the incision. Another instrument is passed through the nephroscope to break up the kidney stone and suction the pieces out of the kidney.

Dr. Michael has experience diagnosing and treating kidney stones. If you have symptoms, contact our office today and schedule an appointment.

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 1260W
Santa Monica, CA 90404

310-829-7777

310-829-9951

Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM