If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you know it can be one of the most painful experiences one can suffer through during a lifetime. UW Medicine/Northwest Hospital Medical Center is working to make things a little less painful for patients suffering from kidney stones, and help keep kidney stones from coming back again. This fall, the medical center opened the doors to the new UW Medicine Kidney Stone Center: the Puget Sound region’s first comprehensive center for the treatment and prevention of kidney stones.
The Kidney Stone Center is located on the medical center’s main campus, and it houses a multidisciplinary team of experts in urology, kidney disease and nutrition, providing a single point of care for those suffering from acute or recurrent kidney stones. By bringing all services to a single location, providers can deliver better and more efficient care at every phase of treatment and prevention.
When it comes to treating kidney stones, the Kidney Stone Center uses the latest minimally invasive surgical and nonsurgical procedures, as well as state-of-the-art tools such as lasers and specialized ultrasound equipment. The center also participates in national research on kidney stone prevention and treatment, giving patients access to clinical trials of new therapies and treatments.
However, along with the larger shift in health care toward prevention, the center also emphasizes prevention to keep their patients healthy after they leave. A nephrologist (kidney disease specialist) works with patients on issues of overall kidney health, and a dietician works with patients to create individualized plans to keep kidney stones from returning.
Facilities that offer comprehensive services can have tremendous benefits to patients, not only making care more efficient, but also improving the patient experience. Click here to read more about the Kidney Stone Center. (Tim Pfarr)