Picture of Lithotripsy
For kidney stones that do not pass on their own, a procedure called lithotripsy is often used. In this procedure, shock waves are used to break up a large stone into smaller pieces that can then pass through the urinary system. Surgical techniques have also been developed to remove kidney stones. This may be done through a small incision in the skin (percutaneous nephrolithotomy) or through an instrument known as a ureteroscope that is passed through the urethra and bladder up into the ureter.
Kidney Stone Slideshow
Image Source: Photo courtesy of Gramercy Urology Solutions
Text: MedicineNet - Kidney Stones