Kidney Stone Surgery in Montebello, CA

Kidney stones occur most often between the ages of 30-45, and men are three times more likely to develop them than women are. Stones are solid or semi-solid mineral substances that form in the urinary tract. The most common type is calcium oxalate stones.  (Everyone forms calcium oxalate crystals, but most people simply excrete them without forming stones.) Stone formation is a complex process, and it is not yet clearly understood why some people are prone to kidney stones.

Kidney stones become a problem when they form an obstruction, and block drainage out of the kidney. Anyone who has experienced this knows how very painful it can be, resulting in time off from work or a trip to the emergency room. Kidney stones are treatable. However, patients can gain some control over preventing them with proper medication and changes in their food and drinking habits.

Meet Our Urologist

Board-certified urologist J. Antonio Alarcon, MD founded the Alarcon Urology Center in Montebello, CA in 1987. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Alarcon specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of kidney stones. If you’re struggling with pain or discomfort that may be caused by kidney stones in the Los Angeles area, then Dr. Alarcon can help you, too! Call our office at (626) 284-9278 today to schedule an appointment, or submit a request online using our secure form.

How can kidney stones be prevented?

Since calcium oxalate stones are the most prevalent (up to 90%), the following suggestions apply to this type, provided the patient has been properly diagnosed. Understanding each case usually involves an in-depth urine study that gives the urologist information on urine volume, urine calcium, sodium, citrate and uric acid, and other important factors. This data allows the physician to recommend appropriate prevention strategies, and track progress through follow-up studies. The urologist will help the patient improve the factors involved in stone formation, thus minimizing the likelihood of recurrence.

In general, the urologist will want information about the patient’s typical eating and drinking patterns, and how well the patient’s body processes (metabolizes) food and beverage intake. There are two particular dietary trends that may contribute to the concentration of minerals in urine: inadequate fluid intake during the day (dehydration) and too much sodium (salt) in the diet. The second is a widespread problem in today’s world of processed and fast food consumption.


Patients with recurrent stone disease may have to adjust to getting up during sleeping hours, since they may be voiding frequently during the day but increasing urine saturation overnight. What is important is the amount and frequency of urine output. It is best to avoid excess caffeine, sugared beverages, black tea, grapefruit juice, and apple juice, as these seem to contribute to stone formation.

Even though the common type of stone is called “calcium oxalate,” this does NOT mean that dietary calcium is a contributor to kidney stones. Rather, adequate intake of dietary calcium is related to a lower risk of kidney stones. Studies have shown that getting enough calcium but reducing sodium and animal protein helps prevent stone formation. On the other hand, cutting down on foods high in oxalates may be beneficial. The list includes chocolate, nuts, beans, rhubarb, spinach, beets, and black tea.

Kidney Stones FAQs

When high levels of minerals and salt exist in the kidneys, a clump of matter known as a kidney stone can form inside of the kidney.

Stones smaller than 4 millimeters pass on their own 80 percent of the time. They take an average of 31 days to pass. Stones that are 4–6 mm are more likely to require some sort of treatment, but around 60 percent pass naturally. This takes an average of 45 days.

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps dissolve kidney stones. In addition to flushing out the kidneys, apple cider vinegar can also decrease any pain caused by the stones. In addition, water and lemon juice can help flush the stones and prevent future kidney stones.

As stones move into your ureters — the thin tubes that allow urine to pass from your kidneys to your bladder — signs and symptoms can result. Signs and symptoms of kidney stones being passed can include severe pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and blood in your urine.

Citrus fruit, and their juice, can help reduce or block the formation of stones due to naturally occurring citrate. Good sources of citrus include lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.

Once it reaches the bladder, the stone typically passes within a few days. However, pain may subside even if the stone is still in the ureter, so it is important to follow up with your doctor if you do not pass the stone within 4-6 weeks.

Kidney stones can start small but can grow larger in size, even filling the inner hollow structures of the kidney. Some stones stay in the kidney, and may not cause any problems.

Yes. Calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and some cheese and oxalate-rich foods are beneficial for preventing kidney stones. This is because oxalate and calcium from the foods are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before entering the kidneys, make it less likely that kidney stones will form.

They feel pain in their abdomen, lower back, or groin as the stone passes through the narrow ureter and beyond. That can also cause some gastric discomfort, which is centered in the upper abdomen and can be dull and achy or throbbing pain.

Schedule an Appointment in Montebello, CA

These are general recommendations, and may not help every person who suffers from kidney stones. Never self-diagnose. Urologists specialize in urinary tract disorders, including kidney stones, and it is important to meet with a urologist who can determine the problem and the best treatment. Call (626) 284-9278 today to schedule an appointment with Alarcon Urology Center in Montebello, CA, just outside of Los Angeles, or submit a request online using our secure form.

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