We’re not going to name drop here, patient confidentiality and all, but urologist Amy Krambeck, M.D., has been called the “best kidney stone doctor in the world” by some pretty big names.
Politicians. NFL players. Hollywood celebs. MMA fighters. Fellow elite urologists.
As a specialist who helps people -- among plenty of other things – get relief from those excruciatingly painful kidney stones, Dr. Krambeck gets lots of thanks.
“People are just so happy they are out of pain,” she said this week from her office at IU Health Methodist Hospital. “They’re like, ‘Thanks doc.’”
But Dr. Krambeck isn’t just any doctor. She’s the elite of stone doctors nationwide. She came to IU Health in July, after spending seven years as an endourologist at the Mayo Clinic, where she also completed her residency. She comes here specializing in the surgical and medical treatment of stone disease and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Many people aren’t aware, she says, but IU Health is one of the highest-volume kidney stone centers in the United States. Since being here, she has performed more than 100 surgeries, including at least one on a well-known fighter.
At the Mayo Clinic, she was the doctor of choice for plenty of politicians and celebrities. There have been articles written about Dr. Krambeck with famous people praising her.
Her 11-year-old daughter even took one to school. After all, it’s not often there’s something cool to brag about when your mom is a urologist. But Dr. Krambeck -- who is married to a retired police officer and also has a 5-year-old daughter -- is the elite of the urologist crop. We sat down with her to find out a little more.
Just a few fun facts…
-- Before she was breaking up kidney stones, Dr. Krambeck was driving tractors and helping to raise cattle and crops on her family farm.
-- She met her husband in Kansas City at a KISS concert, where he was working as an off-duty security officer and she was an undergrad.
-- The couple still likes to go to concerts and to movies. They also enjoy working out. Dr. Krambeck recently took up Orangetheory Fitness.
Why’d you choose urology?
Dr. Krambeck, at first, was focused on general surgery, but then? Then she met some urologists. “They were fun, really good people,” she says. “Urologists don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Getting real…how bad does a kidney stone hurt?
“I passed a kidney stone when I was pregnant and I have two children. And the stone was way worse than the childbirth. It’s extremely painful,” Dr. Krambeck says. “You’re usually just delirious with pain when you’re passing a stone. It’s a really severe pain. It’s agonizing pain.”
“Usually it’s a pain that kind of comes and goes. Kind of a waxing, waning kind of sharp pain. A lot of times people will writhe because they can’t find a position that helps,” she says. “Sometimes, they will have nausea and vomiting. Sometimes, they will have blood in the urine. Sometimes they feel like they need to go to the bathroom frequently. It’s often mistaken for a urinary tract infection.”
How long does this go on?
“It can take many months to pass a stone; some people it can take them three months to pass it,” Dr. Krambeck says. “Some people pass it quickly.”
Details on the Doc…
Dr. Krambeck is the Michael O. Koch Professor of Urology at Indiana University School of Medicine. She went to medical school at the University of Missouri, where she received the Janet M. Glascow award, given to any woman who graduates as valedictorian of her medical school class. Dr. Krambeck completed her urology residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 2008. She then did an endourology fellowship at the Methodist Institute for Kidney Stone Research at IU. From 2009 to 2016, she worked as an endourologist in the Mayo Clinic Department of Urology. In July, Dr. Krambeck joined IU Health Physicians/Indiana University, specializing in the surgical and medical treatment of stone disease and benign prostatic hyperplasia.