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Kidney Stone Surgery: Comparison of Costs between Public and Private Hospitals (With Real Client Claim Case)

Kidney stones are common among individuals aged 20 to 50, with men being more prone to this condition than women. How do doctors diagnose and treat kidney stones? The Bowtie team compares the costs of major private hospitals and provides a real case of voluntary health insurance compensation for reference, helping you plan your budget!
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2023-08-29
Updated on 2023-09-13
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Diagnostic Methods for Kidney StonesTreatment methods after diagnosisComparison of treatment costs at various private hospitals/clinicsReal Case: Does Bowtie Voluntary Health Insurance Cover Kidney Stone Treatment and Diagnosis?What precautions should be taken before and after the surgery?

Diagnostic Methods for Kidney Stones

Doctors typically use clinical examinations and the following tests to diagnose and determine the type, size, and location of kidney stones:

  1. Blood tests
  2. Urine tests
  3. X-ray
  4. Computed tomography (CT) scan
  5. Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) or intravenous urogram (IVU) with the injection of a contrast dye
  6. Ultrasound

Click here to learn more about diagnostic methods of kidney stones and fees.

Treatment methods after diagnosis

Doctors will determine the appropriate treatment method based on the type and cause of the kidney stones. If the kidney stones are small, they can often be passed naturally by drinking plenty of water (around 2.5 to 3 liters per day) and engaging in appropriate physical activity.

However, if the kidney stones are larger and cause infection, urinary obstruction, or kidney damage, the doctor may first use antibiotics to treat the infection and prescribe medications to help dissolve the stones. If the stones cannot be passed naturally, surgical intervention may be necessary.

There are four main surgical methods for removing kidney stones:

  1. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): This is a commonly used non-invasive procedure that uses shock waves to break the kidney stones into smaller pieces, allowing them to be passed out of the body through urine. The treatment may cause discomfort, but it does not cause harm to the body.
  2. Ureteroscopy (URS): A flexible ureteroscope is inserted through the urethra and bladder to locate and break up the kidney stones into smaller fragments, which are then removed. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and may carry risks such as blood in urine, mild-to-moderate pain, back or abdominal pain, or urinary tract infection. The pain generally subsides within a few days.
  3. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): A small incision is made in the patient’s back, and a nephroscope is inserted into the kidney to locate and break up the stones, which are then removed. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and carries risks such as bleeding, infection, wound pain, and if there are residual stones, multiple surgeries may be required to remove all the fragments.
  4. Parathyroid Surgery: This surgery is performed to remove the overactive parathyroid gland in the neck, which may be causing kidney stones. It is typically used for cases where kidney stones are caused by small benign tumors.

Comparison of treatment costs at various private hospitals/clinics

The table below provides reference prices for surgeries:

Private HospitalESWLURS
Hong Kong Baptist Hospital$12,470 (unilateral) / $16,350 (bilateral)
Union Hospital$10,500 (unilateral)Not provided
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Tsuen Wan$17,750 (unilateral, including recovery room and nursing fees)Not provided
Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong$38,100 (all-inclusive fixed-price medical package*)
  • $69,200 (Day Surgery)
  • $71,680 (Hospitalisation)

 (all-inclusive fixed-price medical package*)

Public Hospital Private ClinicHK19,350 – 30,450Not provided
  • #Related fee references from official websites (updated on October 28, 2021)
  • *The package prices include all procedure-related fees, including doctor fees, anesthesiologist fees, ward charges (including meal expenses), necessary and related diagnostic fees (including laboratory tests and imaging), treatment fees (including emergency, blood transfusion, etc.), operation theater charges (including additional operating time), nursing procedure charges, medication costs (prescribed by attending doctor for the duration of hospitalization and upon discharge, or medications required for the package-related treatment), equipment fees, consumables, materials fees, and implant charges.

Real Case: Does Bowtie Voluntary Health Insurance Cover Kidney Stone Treatment and Diagnosis?

At the beginning of 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed the entire public hospital system, leaving many elderly individuals waiting for treatment in outdoor areas. Mr. Yeung (pseudonym), a Bowtie customer insured under the Bowtie VHIS – Flex Plan (Standard), suddenly felt a sharp pain in his kidney.

After inquiring about the details with Bowtie’s customer service team, Mr. Yang went to Union Hospital for consultation, arranged by the doctor, and was admitted.

Bowtie真實客戶患上腎石的理賠個案Mr. Yeung (alias)

“At that time, my kidney was really painful, and I thought to myself: if I have to go to the emergency department, I would be in excruciating pain even before seeing the doctor!”

“The Bowtie customer service team promptly answered my call and provided detailed answers to my questions, including coverage for kidney stones, the coverage limit, which private hospitals are covered, and what claim documents I need to prepare upon discharge.”

Kidney stone treatment: Detailed claim amount and information

The treatment received by Mr. Yang (alias): As the situation was not severe and the kidney stones were relatively small, the doctor suggested taking prescribed medication and drinking more water to allow the kidney stones to naturally pass out of the body. Afterwards, Mr. Yang was successfully discharged after a few days of hospital observation.

Compensation Rate:91.3%

ItemMedical ExpensesCompensation Amount
Rooms and MealsHK$2,430HK$2,000
Miscellaneous ExpensesHK$10,439Full compensation
Main Doctor’s Round FeeHK$3,000HK$2,880
Diagnostic ImagingHK$4,900HK$3,430
Outpatient Care Before Admission or After Discharge / Before or After Day SurgeryHK$330Full compensation
TotalHK$21,099HK$19,279

The above case is a real case and is for reference only. Actual medical costs will depend on the doctor’s recommendations and decisions based on the patient’s condition.

The online claiming process was as smooth as "automatic navigation"! All I had to do was gather the documents, take photos, and upload them to the Bowtie website. The entire process was very clear, keeping me informed of the progress. The claim was approved within one week, and I received the reimbursement shortly thereafter. It was very fast!
Mr. Yeung (alias)
Bowtie VHIS - Flex Plan (Standard) customer.

What precautions should be taken before and after the surgery?

Before undergoing kidney stone removal surgery, it is necessary to fast for 6 to 8 hours. In the days following the surgery, it is common to have urine with traces of blood. Deep breathing and coughing exercises are recommended to prevent chest infections. The incision will naturally heal within a week.

During the recovery period, it is important to drink plenty of water (around 3 to 4 liters per day) and maintain a balanced diet. It is advisable to consume high-fiber foods and avoid excessive consumption of sweets, salty foods, fatty foods, and excessive meat.

If there is excessive bleeding, shock, severe pain, fever, redness or swelling around the incision, inflammation, or foul-smelling discharge, it is important to seek immediate medical attention for professional assistance.

  • Any content related to Bowtie products in this article is for reference and educational purposes only. Customers should refer to the detailed terms and conditions on the relevant product web page.
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