Urinary stones are aggregates of crystalline structures that can form in the kidney, ureter or bladder. While the most common cause of urinary stone is low fluid intake (dehydration), other underlying causes such as metabolic disturbances, anatomical obstruction or genetical predisposition can contribute to stone formation.

Kidney stones can develop in both men and women and the size of stone can range from 1mm to several centimeters. Patients may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp excruciating flank pain
  • Lower abdominal pain radiating to groin
  • Blood in urine
  • Urinary tract infection

Treatment of kidney stones depends on the size and location of the stone as well as presence of urinary obstruction. In cases of obstruction or infection, a temporary urinary stent may be placed to allow for drainage of urine until the stone is treated definitively. Other stones may be managed by medication, trial of passage or surgery. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options based on the your clinical and radiographic findings. Your doctor can also discuss ways to prevent further stone formation.

Surgical treatment of urinary stones including shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL), ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy (URS/LL), percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) or laparoscopic or open stone surgery. The choice of surgery also depends on the size, location and composition of your stone.

For more detailed information on urinary stones, ureteral stents and treatment options, visit kidneystoners.org.