Kidney stones urologist Perth

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can block your kidney and cause severe pain. Dr Kong will confirm your diagnosis and help choose the most suitable treatment option for you.

Kidney stones explained | Perth urologist

Kidney stones and types

Kidney stones are actual rocks that form in the kidney.  There are several types of stones but the most common, by far, is calcium oxalate. This makes up 80% of stones formed in the kidney.

Other types include:

  • Uric acid/calcium phosphate
  • struvite (infection stones)

Symptoms of kidney stones

Problems can arise when stones in the collecting system (where urine is formed), fall and block the kidney or the ureter (the tube that urine flows down to get to the bladder).

If this happens you can have :

  • Pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fevers
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • If you have had multiple stone episodes and wish to have a discussion about investigation and prevention.
  • If you have pain or symptoms due to a stone and you wish to know your options.

Causes kidney stones | Perth urologist

Causes and who is at risk for kidney stones

Like many conditions, stones in the kidney are caused by many factors. The main factors that have been identified are genetics, diet, environment and lifestyle. Diet alone is unlikely the only reason you have stones but can contribute significantly. It has been proven that dietary changes can reduce stone formation.

If it runs in your family you may be at risk. People who have had kidney stones before are more likely to make stones in the future and changing your diet can help prevent further stone formation. You can have investigations to figure out what kind of stone you make and why you make them. Patients with diabetes and those who are obese are much more likely to make stones.

kidney stones treatment Perth

Diagnosis for kidney stones | Perth urologist


Kidney stones are best diagnosed with scans. Ultrasound is helpful to show blockages of the kidney and may show a stone but it isn’t the most accurate test for size or location. The most accurate test to diagnose stones is a CT scan

Kidney stones treatment Perth urologist


Small stones in the kidney that are not blocking the kidney may sometimes not require surgery.

Stones that are taking too long to pass, causing severe pain or are so large they are unlikely to pass may need treatment.

Some large stones in the kidney that cause no problems for the patient may also need treating due to their size.

Surgery for stones can vary. In general, there are three surgical techniques:

  1. Lasering the stone in the kidney / tube with the passage of a telescope into the bladder and up the tube to the kidney. This involves no cuts and is the most common surgical treatment of stones in Australia. (Lasertripsy)
  2. Crumbling the stone from outside the body (extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy-ESWL)
  3. Puncture to the kidney, breaking up the stones and grasping or suctioning them out. This procedure requires keyhole surgery with a small incision in the back. It is usually recommended for patients with large stones. (percutaneous nephrolithotomy- PCNL)

Renal colic is the pain one experiences when their kidney blocks from a stone. Usually this occurs when the stone has fallen and blocked the ureter (the tube that urine flows down to get to the bladder).

The pain is severe and often comes and goes. It can occur at the back (on the right or left) and come around the side to the front of the abdomen. It can also cause nausea and vomiting.

Blood may be seen in the urine.

This depends on the type of surgery.

In general, all procedures require a general anaesthetic and fasting before the procedure.

You should do your urine test and any blood tests asked of you at least a week before the procedure.

Follow any instructions given to you by Dr Kong or the anaesthetist.

Make sure you notify Dr Kong of any allergies you may have.


Kidney masses need assessment and review by a urologist. Some can be removed while others can safely be watched.

Cysts in the kidney are common and don’t always require review or follow up with a urologist. If in doubt speak to your GP or request a referral for a review to be sure your kidney cysts don’t need treatment.

kidney stones treatment urologist Perth

Why Dr Kong for kidney stones treatment and other kidney conditions?

Dr Jennifer Kong | Perth urologist

The incidence of kidney stones is rising in Australia. It can cause significant pain and affect someone’s quality of life and their ability to work. Dr Kong is committed to the treatment but also the prevention of stones. She believes prevention is better than cure. She assesses a patient's risk factors for stone disease and investigates when needed in order to prevent future stone formation.

Dr Kong is interested in stone disease surgery and frequently performs PCNL for large complex stones in kidneys with unusual anatomy or recurrent stone formers.

Dr Kong is trained in supine PCNL (performed with the patient lying on their back) which gives superior access to the kidney from the bladder and from the kidney puncture. This facilitates complete stone clearance in large stones.

The advantage of supine PCNL is also the ability for the anaesthetist to access the patient’s airway and there is no need for turning of the patient onto their front.

Patients in pain from renal colic can be seen urgently if not admitted directly to the hospital.

For those with renal colic and fevers, they should go immediately to their nearest emergency department or phone the rooms with a referral so they may be admitted directly to the hospital. This situation is an emergency and the kidney requires unblocking as soon as possible.

Kong Urology | Dr Jennifer Kong

Get in touch


Dr Jennifer Kong consults in
West Leederville close to SJOG Subiaco

164 Cambridge Street