No Stone Too Hard to Rid - The New Indian Express

No Stone Too Hard to Rid

Published: 06th April 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 04th April 2014 02:46 PM

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report last year said disease of the kidney and urinary tract contribute to approximately 8,50,000 deaths every year of which Chronic Kidney Disease is the 12th leading cause of death and 17th leading cause of disability in the world.

Focusing on the urgent need for a centre solely dedicated to the treatment of diseases related to the kidney due to changing lifestyles and to provide a non invasive method of treatment, Dr Bhimsen Bansal from New Delhi introduced the lithotripsy machine and is considered the father of lithotripsy in India. Dr Bansal’s RG Urology Centre with 16 branches in Goa, Mohali, Dehradun, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai holds the record for treating the largest kidney stone in the world, measuring about 13 cm and has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

This path breaking machine disintegrates stones to tiny particles by the emanation of ultrasonic waves which then make their way out of the system through the bladder. There is no need for general anesthesia, blood transfusion, the hospital stay is minimum and importantly one gets to avoid large scars.

Since introducing lithotripsy, the doctors at RG group of hospitals have moved on to more advanced machines. In keeping with the vision of the hospitals to treat non-invasively, holmium laser is also being used for many conditions, such as enlarged prostates which affect many men over the age of 55.  The centre also treats numerous women conditions like fibroids, cysts and even infertility laparoscopically.

When asked about what could lead to kidney stones, Bhimsen says the main culprit is dehydration and surveys done by his team have localised dehydration as the main cause in parts of India like Rajasthan and Chennai. Stones can occur due to poor quality of water in Saurashtra, Maharashtra and east India. A high calcium diet is the main culprit in Punjab. Large intake of milk and paneer is the culprit in Haryana. Alcoholic beverages such as beer can also cause kidney stones due to formation of oxalates.

How can one prevent kidney stones? “One must keep one’s kidneys hydrated. Eat healthy; avoid a stressful lifestyle and drinking at least eight-10 glasses of water a day is important,” says Bhimsen.

But in some cases, stones can be hereditary which is what Sheetal, a patient, realised a month before her wedding. Colicky pain and painful urination led her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with a kidney stone. But with the advanced methods she was in and out of the ward in a few days and most importantly she beams, “The scar is so tiny.”

Bhimsen wishes to spread as much awareness as possible about urinary diseases by treating poor patients across the country and conducting awareness camps for the public.  He says, “The kidneys need to be protected just as any other organ.”

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