Which specialist consultations are beneficial to patients with nephrolithiasis?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: Chirag N Dave, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Answer

Consultation with a urologist is required when immediate ED management of renal (ureteral) colic fails. Referral to a urologist is necessary for all stones that prove refractory to outpatient management or that fail to pass spontaneously.

Consult a urologist immediately in cases of ureterolithiasis with proximal UTI. Infected hydronephrosis is a true urologic emergency and requires hospital admission, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and immediate drainage of the infected hydronephrosis via percutaneous nephrostomy or ureteral stent placement.

Urologic consultation is also appropriate in patients with unusually large stones, high-risk medical conditions, inability to tolerate oral fluids and medications, unrelenting pain, renal failure, renal transplant, a solitary functioning kidney, or a history of prior stones that required invasive intervention.

Patients who are pregnant require a consultation with an obstetrician-gynecologist, and those with a history of severe cardiac disease or congestive heart failure may benefit from involvement of an internal medicine specialist or cardiologist.

Patients with strong motivation to prevent all future stones, those with multiple recurrences or single functioning kidneys, and all children younger than 16 years with nephrolithiasis should be referred to a specialist in nephrolithiasis prevention. A medical expert in metabolic stone prevention testing, interpretation, and prophylactic therapy is available in most communities.


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