Call Us: (954) 714-8200
Select Page
Three Ways Z Urology Deals With Kidney / Bladder Stones

Three Ways Z Urology Deals With Kidney / Bladder Stones

Have you had stones? Do you know how painful stones can be? For many, it is just awful, and it becomes an emergency situation. Stone disease is one of the most painful urological disorders. More than a million kidney stone cases are diagnosed each year, with an estimated one out of ten people expected to suffer from a kidney stone at some time in their life.

This is where Z Urology in South Florida comes in to save the day. Let our team diagnose and treat the problem. There are three ways we tackle kidney / bladder stones. But first, what exactly are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are solid pieces that form when substances normally found in the urine, such as minerals and acid salts, become concentrated and crystallize. A stone ranges in size from a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. It may remain in the kidneys or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Small stones typically pass on their own, causing little or no pain. However, larger stones get stuck along the tract and block the flow of urine, resulting in intense pain, bleeding, or both.

Anyone can develop kidney stones, but those that are MORE LIKELY include:

  • Men
  • Overweight individuals
  • Those with a family or personal history of kidney stones
  • Dehydrated individuals
  • People who maintain diets high in protein, sodium, or sugar
  • Individuals with certain bowel conditions, such as chronic diarrhea and Crohn’s disease
  • Gastric bypass surgery recipients


So how does Z Urology get rid of kidney stones? There are three ways of treatment. All involve some form of lithotripsy. If you are not sure what that is, let’s read further.

What is a Lithotripsy

Lithotripsy is a medical procedure involved in removing kidney / bladder stones through the use of different processes. Through the lithotripsy procedure, these stones are broken down through the use of laser or shock waves.


Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

This is the most common form of removing a kidney or bladder stone. The procedure involves using shockwaves that come from outside of the body. Z Urology will target the area where the stone is and begin breaking it into smaller pieces. This is a non-invasive procedure. Once the stones have been broken down into a “dust,” they may travel through the urinary tract without much issue. Sometimes the stones may still be slightly too large and further treatment may be required.

Laser Lithotripsy

Laser Lithotripsy is a minimally invasive form of kidney/bladder stone removal. This procedure involves the use of a ureteroscope. This acts as a camera for your urologist. He uses this camera to navigate through the urinary tract into the ureter or kidney. Once inside, he will locate the stone. If necessary, a stent will then be placed within the ureter to protect it as the stones pass through. Once the stones have completely passed, your urologist will remove the stent. This usually takes a few days to a couple of weeks for the process.


Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is another form of lithotripsy. This procedure is required when the stones are just too large for other procedures, there were remaining stones after an extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, or if the kidney stones are damaging the area where they are present.

If you are in need of a urologist in South Florida that can help you deal with kidney / bladder stone pains or concerns, then contact Z Urology for a team that is dedicated to delivering world-class expertise in urology, along with an unwavering commitment to their patients. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

You can go to the website directly and set up an appointment or you can call 954-714-8200. Either way, you contact, you will be setting up to see the leading urologist office in all of South Florida. With an extremely talented and professional staff of doctors and more, you are in truly good hands with the doctors and nurses at Z Urology. Z Urology is your leader in urological care. Go ahead and call now!

Three Ways Z Urology Deals With Kidney / Bladder Stones

Kidney Stones & Lithotripsy 101


Lithotripsy is a medical procedure involved in removing kidney / bladder stones. There are multiple different kinds of lithotripsy. Your main three types are going to be Laser Lithotripsy, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy or Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy. All of these methods are doctor-certified procedures that will return you to your normal life without kidney stones. The goal of most lithotripsy procedures, is to break down the kidney stones to a small enough level to either have them removed or small enough to pass down through the urinary tract and exit the body.


What are Kidney Stones?


Kidney stones are solid pieces of material that form when substances normally found in the urine, such as minerals and acid salts, become concentrated and crystallized. Kidney stones may range in size from being small enough to just normally pass through the urinary tract or large enough to about the size of the golf ball. If a stone hasn’t progressed to abnormal sizes, then it will be perfectly fine in travelling through the ureter and out of the body. However, if these stones become larger, they may cause intense and serious pain as well as blood within the urine.


Types of Lithotripsy


As was stated earlier, there are 3 main types of lithotripsy; Laser Lithotripsy, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy and Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy. Here we’ll go into a bit about each procedure.

Laser Lithotripsy – Removal of kidney stones by way of a ureteroscope. This device possesses a camera and a tube for a specific fiber. The fiber releases a laser which then breaks down the kidney stone(s). They may either be removed with the ureteroscope or released through urine.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy – Removal of kidney stones by use of shock waves from outside of the body. These shock waves will specifically target with the kidney stones. Once they are broken down, they will then pass through the urinary tract.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy – Procedure for kidney stones too large for the prior two options. This is conducted by making incisions through the lower back. A nephroscope, similar to a ureteroscope, is placed through the incisions to either remove the kidney stones entirely or break them down. If the stones are first broken down, then this procedure is referred to as a Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy.

Orlando Urologist Faces Lawsuit Over Kidney Stone Procedures & Kickbacks

Orlando Urologist Faces Lawsuit Over Kidney Stone Procedures & Kickbacks

DOJ-sealAn unsealed federal lawsuit shows an Orlando urologist was performing kidney stone procedures that were not medically necessary and was taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from a local outpatient surgery center.

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Dr. Patrick Hunter; the Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, where he performed the procedures; and an affiliated company called Surgical Care Affiliates for violation of anti-kickback laws, filing false and fraudulent claims with federal government programs including Medicare, and for violation of whistleblower protection, according to the lawsuit.


What are the Details of the Suit

The suit, was unsealed after three years of investigation by the government, was brought by Scott Thompson, the former director of compliance at Illinois-based Surgical Care Affiliates. They hired the staff and managed the billing at Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery.

The U.S. Justice Department has decided to take the lead in pursuing the case on behalf of Thompson. The department will file its own lawsuit within the next 90 days and potentially narrow down the allegations.

Dr. Hunter passed away earlier this year, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department will continue the case against his estate.

The government’s involvement in the case is noteworthy because the Justice Department declines to intervene in about 80% of whistleblower lawsuits. Meanwhile, about 90% of the cases in which the government intervenes get a positive outcome, either by winning a trial or reaching a settlement.

The lawsuit’s allegations stem from procedures and activities between 2010 and 2016.


What Did Dr. Hunter Do

Dr. Hunter performed many procedures, according to the lawsuit. In 2012, out of more than 1,400 doctors who ordered lithotripsy nationwide, Hunter ranked on top, ordering twice as many procedures as the next highest ordering physicians, the suit claims, although it did not say how many procedure he ordered.

Meanwhile, Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, where Hunter was on medical staff, ranked third in the nation and first in Florida for ordering the Lithotripsy, according to the lawsuit.

Hunter was also performing a large volume of ultrasounds at his own practice, The Florida Urology Group, compared to the patient volume he was referring to other diagnostic facilities. Medicare data showed that in 2012, out of more than 1,230 urologists who ordered ultrasounds in their own office, Hunter ranked sixth.

Florida Urology Group, where Hunter had a practice, is not part of the lawsuit and is run by a different physician today. Hunter went on leave of absence at his practice starting in May 2016 and eventually retired.


How Much Was He Billing

Hunter billed Medicare and others each time he performed a lithotripsy procedure for an average of $2,300 per procedure, the lawsuit claims. Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery also billed Medicare and other federal payers, including Tricare, for facility charges, which gradually rose from $6,500 to $8,000.

Although the lawsuit doesn’t specify how much money is sought in damages, the government is entitled to three times the total damages, in addition to a civil penalty that’s between $5,000 and $10,000 for each false claim.

Some urologists don’t follow the rules or the law. This is a sad case of that. Should you need a quality urologist, pick up the phone and call Z Urology, with offices in South Florida. Call today!

We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, BPH, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.