What's Up, Doc? with Dr. Rajiv Singal

Dr. Rajiv K Singal,  MD, FRCSC
Dr. Singal joined the surgical staff at the hospital in December 1995 and has been in active practice at the hospital since July 1996. Singal currently leads the Surgical Robotics Program jointly run by MGH and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is also the top fundraising physician in Canada in support of Prostate Cancer Care. Follow Dr. Singal on Twitter @DrRKSingal.  

I’m Rajiv Singal. I’m a Urologist and many people often ask what am I going to do if I have a kidney stone? And the answer is, it really depends. If you have a small stone that is bothering you, you can leave it alone, unless you have perhaps a job such as an airline pilot that takes you away or if you’re travelling a lot. Otherwise, it can be just left alone.

If you do have pain, or you’re having symptoms there are a number of factors that can determine how to treat it based upon size, how you’re feeling, and whether you’ve lost time off work. These include shock wave lithotripsy, laser surgery or something known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy where we put a little tube in the back and remove larger stones—it really depends. In summary what I would say, is the best thing is to try to prevent them. Keep yourself hydrated, especially when the weather gets warm, make sure you don’t eat a lot of salty foods in your diet, and rest assured if you do have a stone that is causing you trouble, there’s a range of options that we can offer to help you.