How Common are Kidney Stones after Bariatric Surgery?
Roux-en-Y Procedure and metabolic syndrome - Kidney stone formation (nephrolithiasis) is common in patients with the metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and fatty liver disease. Essentially every patient undergoing RYGB has the metabolic syndrome, so this population is predisposed to stone formation even without surgery. As RYGB surgery has become more popular, doctors note an increasing incidence of nephrolithiasis after the surgery.
Possible causes for surgically related nephrolithiasis include dehydration at the time of surgery or shortly thereafter and abnormal oxalate metabolism as a result of the nutritional bypass element of the surgery. Oxalate is a natural anion found in many plants that forms salt crystals in the body by combining with either calcium or iron. These oxalate salts are excreted in the kidneys. Excessive oxalate in the urine can damage the kidney cells directly (“oxalate nephropathy”) or by forming calcium oxalate stones that block the flow of urine and damage the kidney as a result of the obstructive nephropathy. Untreated kidney stone disease can result in complete renal failure if not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion.
What are the Other Complications of Bariatric Surgery?The mortality rate for bariatric surgery is less than 1%. Complications are acceptably low and include bleeding, infection, bowel leak, hernia, osteopenia and rare neurologic disorders.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)?Passage of kidney stones through the urinary tract can be debilitating painful (usually pain radiating from the flank to the groin). Also present may be urinary urgency, hematuria (blood in the urine), nausea and vomiting.
How are Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis) Treated?
- Urine alkalinization (raise pH): Potassium Citrate
- Uric acid inhibitor: Allopurinol.
- Calcium channel blocker: Nifedipine.- to ease passage of ureteric stone
- Lithotripsy (extra corporeal shock waves or ESWL) – to break stone from outside using high energy focused sound waves.
- Nephrostomy tube: temporary placement of a decompressing drain into the kidney in cases of severe kidney stone blockage.
- Endoscopic removal of stones using Ureteroscopy or Percutaneous Nephro Lithotomy (PCNL)
- Surgical exploration of the urinary tract with direct stone removal (only for medically refractory cases).