What Is A Ureteral Stone
A ureteral stone is an irregularly shaped solid mass or crystal thats become stuck in one of your ureters . Your ureters are two tubes of muscle that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder. You have one ureter per kidney.
Ureteral stones can appear in your left ureter or your right ureter. In most adults, your ureters are between 10 inches and 12 inches long. Stones may be near the proximal end or the distal end of your ureter. The proximal end of your ureter connects to your renal pelvis. Theres a renal pelvis in the center of each of your kidneys, and it collects pee. The distal end of your ureter connects to your bladder.
Ureteral stones are often tiny. Some are too small to see with the naked eye. They pass through your pee and dont cause any problems.
If a ureteral stone is large enough, it can block the flow of pee from your kidneys to your bladder. This blockage can cause severe pain. Ureteral stones form when minerals and salts build up in your pee. The minerals form crystals that grow into stones.
How Do Doctors Treat Kidney Stones
The treatment for a kidney stone depends on:
- The size of the stone
- The type of stone
- If the stone is causing you pain
- If the stone is blocking your urinary tract
If your kidney stone is small, your doctor may have you take pain medicine and drink fluids to help push the stone through your urinary tract and out through your urine .
If your kidney stone is large or if it is blocking your urinary tract, a different treatment may be needed. Treatment options include:
What Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed from substances in your urine. The substances that combine into stones normally pass through your urinary system. When they dont, its because there isnt enough urine volume, causing the substances to become highly concentrated and to crystalize. This is typically a result of not drinking enough water. The stone-forming substances are:
These and other chemicals are some of the waste products that exit your body.
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What Are Different Types Of Calculus
Different types of calculus which can be formed are given below:
- Gastroliths: When calculus is formed in the stomach it is known as gastroliths.
- Calculus: It can be formed within the gallbladder and the bile ducts. These are called gallstones.
- Enteroliths: When there is calculus in the gastrointestinal tracts it is termed as enteroliths. It is enormous in size.
- Nephroliths: When calculus is formed in the kidney of a person it is known as nephroliths.
- Sialoliths: The formation of the calculi in the salivary glands is known as sialoliths.
What Is The Best Treatment For The Calculus
The treatment for calculus is based on the location of the stone within the body of a person. There are medications that help in the dissolving of stone. These medications only work if the calculus is small in size. A doctor may recommend surgery for the complete removal of the calculus from the body. A patient may be required to undergo laparoscopic surgery or open surgery for eliminating the calculus.
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When To See A Urologist
Kidney stones that do not receive the proper medical treatment can ultimately cause bleeding, urinary tract infections, and organ damage/failure. If you suspect you might have a kidney stone or are having complications with your renal system seeing a urologist is strongly recommended.
Contact our office to be seen by a specialist to provide personalized care and treatment for all your urology needs.
Emergency Management Of Renal Colic
Initial treatment of a renal colic patient in the ED starts with obtaining IV access to allow administration of fluid, analgesic, and antiemetic medications. Many of these patients are dehydrated from poor oral intake and vomiting. Although the role of supranormal hydration in the management of renal colic is controversial , patients who are dehydrated or ill need adequate restoration of circulating volume.
After diagnosing renal colic, determine the presence or absence of obstruction or infection. Obstruction in the absence of infection can be initially managed with analgesics and with other medical measures to facilitate passage of the stone. Infection in the absence of obstruction can be initially managed with antimicrobial therapy. In either case, promptly refer the patient to a urologist.
If neither obstruction nor infection is present, analgesics and other medical measures to facilitate passage of the stone can be initiated with the expectation that the stone will likely pass from the upper urinary tract if its diameter is smaller than 10 mm .
If both obstruction and infection are present, emergency decompression of the upper urinary collecting system is required . In addition, immediately consult with a urologist for patients whose pain fails to respond to ED management.
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How Long Can A Stone Stay In My Ureter
Your body is unique, so the amount of time it may take you to pass a ureteral stone may differ from someone else who has a ureteral stone. You also may not be able to pass or pee out the stone.
In many people, a stone smaller than 4 millimeters may pass within one or two weeks.
Once a ureteral stone reaches your bladder, it typically passes within a few days.
Is It Possible To Prevent Kidney Stones
Rather than having to undergo treatment, it is best to avoid kidney stones in the first place when possible. It can be especially helpful to drink more water since low fluid intake and dehydration are major risk factors for kidney stone formation.
Depending on the cause of the kidney stones and an individual’s medical history, changes in the diet or medications are sometimes recommended to decrease the likelihood of developing further kidney stones. If one has passed a stone, it can be particularly helpful to have it analyzed in a laboratory to determine the precise type of stone so specific prevention measures can be considered.
People who have a tendency to form calcium oxalate kidney stones may be advised to limit their consumption of foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, beets, wheat germ, and peanuts. Also drinking lemon juice or lemonade may be helpful in preventing kidney stones.
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When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider
- You have a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- You have chills and/or are shaking.
- Your bleeding doesnt stop or gets worse.
- Your pain doesnt improve or gets worse.
- You arent able to pee.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Staghorn calculi, like other kidney stones, can be frustrating and painful. Your healthcare provider can evaluate you and help you find a solution. Many times, the solution will be a type of surgery. Its important to treat staghorn stones if possible to avoid kidney failure. Follow any recommendations from your healthcare provider regarding what your diet and activity level.
Can Children Get Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.
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Getting A Kidney Stone To Pass
After identifying the size and location of your kidney stone, follow the recommended treatment by your doctor. The vast majority of small kidney stones are able to be passed without medical intervention and can be helped with these steps:
Drinking water: By consuming as much as 3 liters of water a day, this will help flush out your renal system.
Take pain medication: Kidney stones can be extremely painful, therefore, taking pain medication like ibuprofen can help make the passing less agonizing.
Get an alpha-blocker from your doctor: An alpha-blocker can help relax your ureter and progress the kidney stone through your system.
Cut out the right foods: Removing high-oxalate foods like spinach, beets, potatoes, and nuts, as well as animal protein can help limit kidney stone minerals from forming.
Drink juice: Consuming juices from lemons, basil, and dandelion roots can provide compounds that regulate uric acid levels and help breakdown calcium deposits.
For larger stones , medical treatment is often required to enable kidney stones to be passed through the body. Common methods of care include soundwave therapy, surgery, and using a ureteroscope.
Shock Wave Therapy: A process called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy creates vibrations targeted at kidney stones to break the larger minerals into smaller pieces that can be passed by the body.
Locating The Kidney Stone
Having a kidney stone pass easily also involves where the location of the mineral buildup is within the renal system. While formation takes place inside the kidneys, the hardened stones can also be found in the ureters the thin tubes that allow urine to pass from the kidneys into the bladder. After moving through the kidneys and ureters, kidney stones can be located inside the bladder, waiting to exit the body.
Research has shown that kidney stones inside the ureter, which are closer to the bladder, have a 79 percent chance of passing on their own. Kidney stones higher up in the ureter only have shown a 48 percent chance of passing without medical treatment.
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Medical Treatment To Prevent Stones
Factors which increase the risk of stones include:
- Gender: Men are more likely than women to form kidney stones, although the rate is increasing faster in women and soon men and women might have equal risk of kidney stone formation
- Family history: If you have family members with stones, you have a higher risk of developing kidney stones
- Diet: Diets high in fat, processed sugar, and salt place people at risk of forming kidney stones
- Weight: Obesity is strongly associated with kidney stones
- Personal history: If you formed your first stone when you were young, or if you have already formed more than one stone, you are at greater risk of having more stones
The cornerstone of medical treatment to prevent stones is increasing fluid intake. It is recommended that you drink enough fluid to produce 2 liters of urine each day. That is the equivalent to the amount of fluid in a 2 liter soda bottle. Its important that you spread this out over the entire day rather than drinking the whole amount at one time. It is recommended that you include a glass of water just before bedtime. The goal is to make sure your urine has the appearance of water. If the urine is yellow then you probably arent drinking enough.
How To Remove Lower Pole Kidney Stones
Dissolve & Flush Stones. Natural Safe Formula. 90 Day Guarantee. Free Fast Shipping! Herbalist & Doctor Formulated. Made In USA. GMP Certified Manufacturing Facility Take a look at the most important signs and symptoms associated with kidney stones. 10 Early Warning Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Stone You Need to Know
Lower Pole kidney stones less than 7-8 mm can often be broken with shockwave lithotripsy with success rate similar to ureteroscopy with laser with fewer side effects. For medium size stones 0.9 cm to 1 cm, shockwave may be tried but may require more than one treatment Many people with lower pole kidney stones undergo shock wave. the patient at an inverted angle) for treating lower pole kidney stones. The blood calcium level failed to decline after its removal. On the 2nd postoperative. mass in the left lower pole of the thyroid gland, an extrinsic pressure defect on the left lateral wall The various treatment modalities to treatment lower pole stones vary from shock wave lithotripsy through to ureteroscopy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy , thereby increasing in their invasiveness Percutaneous nephrolithotomy or retrograde intrarenal surgery are the most appropriate approaches for treating lower pole kidney stones 1 to 2 cm in size, according to a new..
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Most patients with kidney stones, even those with multiple recurrences, are unaware of the availability of 24-hour urine testing and the potential benefits of preventive measures based on this testing. Successful kidney stone preventive programs require high levels of patient compliance, motivation, and discipline for their efficacy. an interprofessional team of nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians should educate patients about preventive therapy, but only those who are strongly motivated are likely to have long-term success. The health care team involved in the care of nephrolithiasis patients has an absolute obligation to inform patients of the existence of such programs, particularly in cases of multiple stone recurrences, solitary kidneys, high surgical risk factors, or those in the pediatric age group.
Clinicians looking after patients with renal calculi should educate them about the importance of hydration failing to do so will mean low effectiveness of medical therapy. Patients with recurrent renal calculi should be referred to a specialist for work up to rule out an anatomical or metabolic problem. Only through open communication between the team members can the morbidity of renal calculi be lowered.
Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
Many people with kidney stones have no symptoms. However, some people do get symptoms, which may include:
- a gripping pain in the back usually just below the ribs on one side, radiating around to the front and sometimes towards the groin. The pain may be severe enough to cause nausea and vomiting
- blood in the urine
- cloudy or bad smelling urine
- shivers, sweating and fever if the urine becomes infected
- small stones, like gravel, passing out in the urine, often caused by uric acid stones
- an urgent feeling of needing to urinate, due to a stone at the bladder outlet.
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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy :
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is mostly used to treat kidney stones that are between 4 mm and 2 cm in diameter. Here are the steps on how ESWL is performed to treat kidney stones.
- General anesthesia is given to the patient by an anesthesiologist.
- High energy shock waves are transmitted through water and directed at the kidneys to break the stones into smaller pieces.
- The small pieces of kidney stones can now pass easily through the urinary tract.
Once the procedure is done, the patient may take several weeks to pass all fragmented kidney stones. However, patients may need to undergo a revision or a second procedure in a few cases.
What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Ureteral Stones
Tests to diagnose ureteral stones include:
- Urinalysis. A urinalysis will look for signs of infection and examine substance levels in your pee that cause ureteral stones.
- Blood test. A blood test will reveal how well your kidneys are functioning, check for infection and look for other problems that may cause ureteral stones.
- Ultrasound. An ultrasound uses sound waves to look for blockages in your ureters.
- Computed tomography scan. A CT scan can help your healthcare provider determine your ureteral stones size, location and hardness.
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What Other Treatment Choices Are Available
About 90 percent of stones pass through the urinary system without treatment. In cases where this does not occur, treatment to remove stones may be needed. Some stones may be dissolved by medicines. In other cases, one of the following methods of stone removal may be needed:
Percutaneous Stone RemovalWhen stones are quite large or in a location that does not allow effective lithotripsy, a technique called percutaneous stone removal may be used. In this method, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back and creates a tunnel directly into the kidney. A tube is inserted and the stone is removed through this tube.
Ureteroscopic Stone RemovalFor stones found in the lower part of the urinary tract, the doctor may pass a ureteroscope up into the bladder and ureter. A basket-like device may be passed through the tube to grasp and withdraw the stone.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of This Treatment
The main advantage of this treatment is that many patients may be treated for kidney stones without surgery. As a result, complications, hospital stays, costs and recovery time are reduced. Unfortunately, not all types of kidney stones can be treated this way. In addition, stone fragments are occasionally left in the body and additional treatments are needed.
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Whos Most Likely To Get Kidney Stones What Are The Risk Factors
White men in their 30s and 40s are most likely to get kidney stones. However, anyone can develop kidney stones.
There are several risk factors for developing kidney stones. These include:
- Not drinking enough liquids.
- Having a diet that includes the substances that form the stones .
- Having a family history of kidney stones.
- Having a blockage in your urinary tract.
Certain medical conditions can also increase your risk of developing stones. This is because they may increase or decrease levels of the substances that make up a kidney stone. These conditions can include:
- Hypercalciuria .
Certain foods can also place you at risk of a kidney stone. These foods include:
- Meats and poultry .