Stone treatment

Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are formed when excess mineral salts in the urine crystallizes within the kidney. More than 50 percent of stones patients form another stone within 10 years. For a full discourse on the causes, symptoms and prevention of stones, follow this link.

Stone symptoms include back and groin pain, frequent or painful urination, and blood in the urine. Some stones also cause urinary tract infections and kidney obstruction. Occasionally, stones cause no symptoms and remain undetected in the kidney for years. On the other hand, some stones can enlarge silently and lead to kidney damage. Therefore all kidney stones should either be treated or actively followed up.

Treatment: How a particular stone is treated depends on its size and location.
Stones located in the Kidney Stones less than 10 mm in the kidney that are not causing pain, blockage or infection can be left alone and watched yearly with an xray.
Kidney Stones that are larger than 10mm or cause complications can be treated with the following:

Complications of stone include:

  • Recurrent pain
  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Passing blood in the urine

Stones in the Ureter

Stones in the Ureter

Most stones in the ureter pass out spontaneously. Several factors influence the spontaneous passage of stones.

These include the stone location within ureter, prior stone passage, prostate enlargement, pregnancy, and the size of the stone. A stone < 4mm has an 80% chance of passage; 4-5.9 mm 50% and > 6mm 30% of spontaneous passage.

The likelihood of spontaneous passage also depends on the stone location within ureter, a stone high up the ureter (upper ureter) has a 12% chance of spontaneous passage and one in the lower ureter (as in the illustration) has a 45% chance of spontaneous passage.

The average time to passage is 1-3 weeks. There are medications to help the passage of stone but these have not been rigorously tested in medical research.

Stones in the ureter that do not pass out spontaneously after a suitable waiting period (usually 2 weeks) or which cause complications (see above - Kidney stones) will need to be treated.

Treatment modalities include:


The single most important way to help prevent kidney stone formation is to stay well-hydrated.

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