Can A Kidney Stone Pass On Its Own?
Millions of men and women have experienced the uncomfortable symptoms of a kidney stone at one point or another. In fact, some patients struggle with the recurrent formation of kidney stones throughout their lifetime. For these individuals, everyday life can understandably be frustrating. Fortunately, many stones are able to pass on their own. In some cases, however, kidney stones may require medical or surgical intervention. The expert team at Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, under the direction of internationally recognized board-certified urologists Dr. Ali Kasraeian and Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian, is committed to helping patients get rapid, reliable, and long-lasting relief from the pain of kidney stones with the most advanced techniques and technologies available. Learn more about passing kidney stones here, including how likely it is that your stone may pass on its own.
What is a kidney stone?
Kidney stones are hardened or calcified deposits of minerals, salts, and acid that form in the kidneys and cause a number of painful symptoms. Kidney stones can affect men and women of any age, though some patients may be more likely to develop kidney stones than others. Risk factors for the formation of kidney stones include:
- Certain medications
- Dietary factors (excess salt, protein, or sugar intake)
- Previous history of kidney stones
- Renal conditions
How do I know if I have a kidney stone?
Although it is impossible to definitively diagnose a kidney stone without imaging studies, such as ultrasound or CT scan, certain signs and symptoms may point to a high probability of a kidney stone. Common symptoms of having a kidney stone and/or passing a kidney stone include:
- Frequent urination
- Constant sensation of needing to void
- Flank pain or back pain (one-sided)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever, chills, or sweats
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Pain with urination (dysuria)
- Difficulty voiding
- Low urine output
- Cloudy urine
- Odor or foul smell to the urine
What are the chances my kidney stone will pass by itself?
Oftentimes, kidney stones are able to pass without medical or surgical intervention. While passing a kidney stone naturally is typically uncomfortable or even painful, many patients prefer to avoid formal treatment if possible. Increasing your fluid intake (water or citrus juices) may help to speed up the process of passing a kidney stone in some cases. However, some stones have an exceedingly low chance of passing on their own. Furthermore, stones that are left untreated may cause more severe problems and/or prolonged and worsening pain. Important factors to consider when determining the likelihood that a kidney stone will pass on its own include:
- Size of kidney stone: Kidney stones are measured in millimeters (mm). Stones less than 4mm in size have a fantastic chance of passing on their own, while stones greater than 6mm in size nearly always require treatment and/or removal.
- Location of kidney stone: Kidney stones are formed in the kidneys themselves and migrate to the ureter, where they often cause intense pain as they attempt to pass through to the bladder and ultimately exit the body through the urine. Stones that are detected in close proximity to the bladder have a better chance of being passed naturally compared with stones that have become lodged in the upper portion of the ureter, near the kidney.
Imaging studies performed by Drs. Kasraeian and Kasraeian can help to pinpoint the precise location of your kidney stone and measure its size in order to determine the best course of action.
How long does it take for a kidney stone to pass on its own?
Depending on the size and location of the stone, as well as the patient’s diet and other factors, kidney stones typically take about 1 – 2 months to pass. If your kidney stone has not passed after two months, you may need medical or surgical treatment.
How are kidney stones treated?
The most appropriate treatment for your kidney stones will depend on a number of factors, including the characteristics of the stone, the nature and severity of your symptoms, and more. During your initial consultation at one of our convenient locations in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, FL, Dr. Kasraeian will thoroughly evaluate your symptoms, perform necessary imaging and/or laboratory studies, discuss your options at length, and answer your questions in detail. Most commonly, kidney stones that do not pass on their own are treated using one of the following approaches:
- Ureteroscopy: a minimally invasive technique that involves inserting a small scope into the bladder and ureter in order to visualize and remove kidney stones
- ESWL: extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a highly effective, noninvasive kidney stone treatment that utilizes soundwave energy and pressure to break up medium-sized stones into smaller fragments that can pass more easily on their own
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving a small incision on the patient’s back, through which a specialized scope and tube are inserted in order to identify and remove larger kidney stones
Following your treatment for kidney stones in Jacksonville, FL, our knowledgeable team will also provide comprehensive recommendations on how to decrease your risk of developing additional stones in the future. These may include behavioral modifications, adjusting your diet, and/or adding certain medications.
Get fast relief from kidney stone pain in Jacksonville, FL
Whether you have suffered from recurrent kidney stones for years or have only recently developed your first kidney stone, the award-winning team of board-certified urologists and medical experts at Kasraeian Urology can help you get the advanced treatment and long-lasting relief you deserve. To learn more about our kidney stone treatment options in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, FL, call us to schedule your private consultation with board-certified urologists Dr. Ali Kasraeian and Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian today!