Your kidneys are complex organs. They make urine and help the body eliminate waste, regulate blood pressure and make red blood cells.
Kidney stones and kidney cancer interfere with proper kidney functioning. Our specialists help restore function — while preserving the kidney, whenever possible.
Why Choose Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital for Kidney Stones & Kidney Cancer?
Experienced Washington University urologists treat both kidney stones and kidney cancer. Patients come to us because we offer:
- Active surveillance: Some small tumors may pose little risk and can be carefully monitored. We have the tools to identify which tumors can be observed and which require treatment.
- Kidney-sparing surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer. At many centers, treatment for kidney cancer involves removal of the entire organ. Whenever possible, Washington University surgeons remove just the tumor, preserving the kidney and reducing the risk of long-term health problems.
- Internationally recognized expertise: Most urologists do not perform kidney-sparing surgeries. But our physicians have taught others how to perform these surgeries. Washington University physicians also conduct research, publish their findings in national medical journals and speak at national medical conferences. That level of expertise translates into excellent clinical outcomes.
- Second opinions: Our physicians are happy to review your case to confirm your diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan. When you seek a second opinion at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, you can be sure you’re getting an expert opinion.
- Latest technology and treatments: We’ve invested in the latest diagnostic and treatment technology, so we can offer the most up-to-date treatments.
Diagnosis of Kidney Stones & Kidney Cancer
Expert urologists from Washington University have decades of experience diagnosing kidney stones and kidney cancer. To diagnose kidney problems, they use:
- Blood tests: A blood sample can give basic information about your kidney function and provide clues about the cause of your symptoms.
- Urine tests: You may be asked to collect your urine over a 24-hour period.
- Imaging studies: We use X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRI to view your kidney. These imaging studies help us pinpoint the location of disease and plan treatment.
- Biopsies: If needed, we can remove a very small portion of the kidney; laboratory tests on the removed tissue can tell us a lot about your kidney’s function.
Second Opinions at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Have you received a diagnosis of kidney stones or kidney cancer? Call us before beginning treatment. Our nationally known experts will review your medical records, conduct a physical exam, order additional tests (only if necessary) and recommend the best course of treatment.
Kidney Stone Treatment at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Kidney stones range from small and barely bothersome to large and excruciating. We customize treatment to each patient.
Our kidney stone treatments include:
- Watchful waiting: If your kidney stone is small, there’s a good chance that you will be able to pass it in your urine. We can give you pain medication to relieve any discomfort, and may order prescription medication to encourage passing the stone. We will also ask you to drink lots of fluids and to strain your urine (with a special strainer we provide), because we will want to evaluate the stone.
- Shockwave lithotripsy: Large kidney stones can block the flow of urine and damage the kidney. We can use sound waves (ultrasound) to break large stones into small pieces, which can be passed in your urine.
- Stone extraction: An ureteroscope is a thin, lighted tube that can be passed through your urethra into your bladder and kidney. Using the ureteroscope and special tools, your physician can locate the stone and remove it.
Our physicians work to determine the cause of the kidney stones and develop individualized treatment plans to prevent more from forming. Additional treatments may include dietary modification and prescription medication.
Kidney Cancer Treatment at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Patients from all over the country come to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital for kidney cancer treatment because we offer minimally invasive treatments that preserve kidney function.
Our kidney cancer treatments include:
- Robotic-assisted surgery: We perform more robotic and minimally invasive surgery than most medical centers in the world. That kind of experience translates into clinical expertise and improved outcomes for our patients.
- Kidney-sparing surgery: Many programs simply remove the whole kidney. But expert surgeons from Washington University can often take out the tumor itself, preserving the rest of the organ and reducing the chance for long-term health problems. The use of this sophisticated approach depends on the size and location of the tumor, among other factors.
- Chemotherapy and radiation: Patients can receive treatment at Siteman West County, a satellite location of the prestigious Siteman Cancer Center.
- Ablation: For some patients, heat from high-energy radio waves or extreme cold can destroy the tumor. If your physician recommends ablation, we work with the Siteman Cancer Center and Barnes-Jewish Hospital located in the Central West End to coordinate treatment.
- Clinical trials: Our patients have access to the latest cancer treatments and clinical trials through Siteman West County.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a urologist, call Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital at 314.542.WEST (9378) or toll-free at 844.542.9378.
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is conveniently located just one mile west of I-270 in Creve Coeur, Missouri — a west county suburb of St. Louis.
The Washington University Urologic Surgery office is located in Medical Office Building 1, Suite 122. The address is 1040 North Mason Road, at the corner of North Mason and Olive Boulevard. Get directions and maps.