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Kidney Stones Over the Years: A Survivor Shares His Story

Kidney Stones Over the Years: A Survivor Shares His Story

Posted on: 30 Jul 2021


Elderly man with glasses standing next to sign

Kim, a 75 year-old retired university professor, has lived with kidney stones for over 25 years.

In 1989, Kim had his first kidney stone surgery, shock wave lithotripsy (SWL). This was an old way to treat stones. It involved shock waves fired at his stones while he sat in a large tub of water. He says today’s SWL treatment is easier and more effective.

Many years later, in 2007, Kim was diagnosed with another kidney stone. This one was removed with ureteroscopy surgery (URS). In 2013, his stones returned. This time he needed a percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) surgery to treat a very large stone. It was almost the size of a baseball!

When Kim first heard about the surgery, he questioned how it would go. It involved making small cuts in his back, and inserting scopes into the center of his kidneys. Later, he said he was amazed at how smoothly the stones were removed.

Unfortunately, small pieces of stones still remain in Kim’s left kidney. Kim is now very careful about what he eats and drinks. He wishes he had known all along about how much your diet and fluids affect the way stones form. “I am much better educated today about how to prevent kidney stones,” says Kim. “I drink a lot of fluids and eat less salt and foods that form my type of stones. If I had some general education about stones and prevention 25 years ago, I would not have needed the care that I’ve had.”

Kim hopes his story will help the more than 1 million people diagnosed with kidney stones each year.

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For more information on Kidney Stones, click here. 

Check out more survivor stories like Kim's on our Survivor Story home page.


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