Category Archives: Information

Everything you need to know as a new stone former in 8 minutes from Yahoo’s David Pogue

David Pogue's Kidney Stone Video

Being a new kidney stone former can be a frightening and confusing experience. Even if you manage to get medical care promptly, you may be left with a number of unanswered questions: What are your options for treatment? What should you expect during and … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Patient's perspective | 10 Comments

A brief history of ureteral stents

looped stent closeup

For most patients who have ever experienced a ureteral stent, the faster the stent is removed and becomes a part of their past history, the better. A look at our ongoing stent (dis)comfort poll makes this clear. With a total … Continue reading

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Do vegetarians get kidney stones?


Earlier this year, a poll found that 7% of Americans identified themselves as vegetarians while an additional 6% were vegans.[1] Vegans, as you may know, in addition to not eating meat do not eat dairy products. Worldwide, the country with … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Prevention | 15 Comments

Does drinking a lot of water help a stone pass faster?

(Image from

If you’re in the unfortunate position of trying to pass a kidney stone, you’d probably want to speed up the process along as much as possible. One common strategy used by patients and occasionally suggested by physicians is to drink … Continue reading

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Severe pain after stent removal: How often does it happen and can anything prevent it?

Image from

Many patients complain of some pain after having a ureteral stent is removed. This pain is usually mild and self-limited. However, the pain can sometimes be severe. Because patients may not have been warned about the possibility of significant pain … Continue reading

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Did drinking iced tea really cause my kidney stones?

Iced tea in a mason jar Recently, you may have heard patients, newspapers, and websites all tell you, “Iced tea caused your kidney stones!” With so many sources telling you the same thing, it must be true, right? Wouldn’t it be great if iced tea were … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Prevention | 29 Comments

What are my chances of successfully passing my stone?- A Infographic

Infographic of chances of passing a kidney stone

We frequently receive questions from patients trying to pass a stone who want to know whether they will be able to pass it successfully.  There are three main factors that your doctor uses to predict your chances of successful stone … Continue reading

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What’s New in Kidney Stone Research

Increasing rates

At the 2012 American Urological Association Annual Meeting, researchers from around the world present research on a range of urological topics, including the latest information on stone disease, prevention, and treatment. This year the meeting was in Atlanta, Georgia between … Continue reading

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What is Medullary Sponge Kidney?


If, for some strange reason, you set out to design a kidney that could form stones as quickly as possible, you might end up with something like a medullary sponge kidney.       Medullary sponge kidney (MSK) is a … Continue reading

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The Healthcare Costs of Kidney Stones

costs-of kidney stone disease

With the increased attention on the rapidly increasing cost of healthcare, we decided to take a closer look at how much kidney stone disease costs in the United States. United States healthcare expenditures for kidney stone disease for the year … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Trends | 1 Comment

13 Famous Kidney Stoners


It turns out that kidney stones do not discriminate. Famous historical figures, celebrities, and other notable persons have also suffered from stones. Here, in no particular order, is an unlucky list of 13 of your fellow “kidney stoners”.     … Continue reading

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Kidney stones in children

Pediatric kidney

Studies have found that kidney stones are occurring more frequently  in children. Researchers looking at emergency room admissions in South Carolina found an increased occurrence of stones between 1996 and 2007 from 7.7 and 8.0 per 100,000 female and males … Continue reading

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Can dogs and cats get kidney stones?

Kidney dog

It turns out that kidney stones don’t just afflict humans, they also occur in many animals, including your pet dog or cat. Between 0.2 to 3% of dogs and cats are believed to form stones and the number of pets … Continue reading

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Can kidney stones cause kidney failure?

dead kidney cartoon

In addition to causing pain, can kidney stones actually cause permanent damage to your kidney? The unfortunate answer is yes, kidney stones in some cases can actually result in a “dead” kidney or kidney failure. The good news though is … Continue reading

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How do I choose which surgery to have for my kidney stones?


Understanding what is the best option for treating your kidney stone can be difficult. In our new chart, we summarize the benefits and drawbacks of each surgical option. While it still won’t make the decision for you, it can help … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Surgery | 70 Comments

Does soda drinking cause kidney stones?


Kidney stone formers often ask us whether their soda drinking caused their kidney stones. Many have already taken the initiative to cut out all their soda, thinking it will help prevent future stones. So, what’s the real deal with soda … Continue reading

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Kidney Stones During Pregnancy


Along with the other challenges faced by women while they are pregnant, you can add the risk of developing a kidney stone. The risk of stone formation during pregnancy. A woman’s physiology changes dramatically during pregnancy, which can influence her … Continue reading

Posted in evaluation, Information, Surgery | 77 Comments

How long is too long? “I forgot that I had a ureteral stent”

Closeup of an illustration of an encrusted ureteral stent

Many people have ureteral stents placed to prevent or treat urinary tract obstruction, and if you happen to be one of these people, it’s likely that you’re familiar with some of the symptoms of having a stent.  However, it can … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Surgery | 24 Comments

My stent hurts…what should I do?

80% of patients will have discomfort from their stent.  Often this is cramping in the bladder or in the kidney; at times worse with urinating.  A variety of medications can be tried to help with this: 1.  Alpha-blockers (flomax, uroxatral, … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Surgery | 7 Comments

Salt Intake and Kidney Stones

Less salt icon

Most individuals think that their calcium and oxalate intake are the main culprits to the formation of their kidney stones.  Because the most common kidney stone type is composed of calcium oxalate, this would seem to suggest that restricting calcium … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Prevention | 7 Comments

How is a ureteral stent removed?

Diagram of stent with string attached

We previously went over how to place a ureteral stent. In today’s post, we go over the steps of removing a stent. Ureteral stents are removed using two basic methods: 1) By pulling on a stent string, if the string … Continue reading

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Cystine Kidney Stones

Cystine stone crystals in urine

Classic “stop sign” crystals seen in the urine of patients with cystine urinary stone disease are illustrated.  Most cystinurics do not have these crystals in their urine but when they are present they confirm the diagnosis. WHAT ARE CYSTINE STONES? … Continue reading

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