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

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 passage. These include stone size, stone location, and what length of time you have been trying to pass the stone. We go over each factor in the infographic below.


Coll, Varanelli and Smith, “Relationship of Spontaneous Passage of Ureteral Calculi to Stone Size and Location as Revealed by Unenhanced Helical CT”. American Journal of Roentgenology, 2002.

Miller and Kane, “Time to Stone Passage for Observed Ureteral Calculi: A Guide for Patient Education”. Journal of Urology, 1999.

About Dr. Mike Nguyen

Mike M Nguyen, MD, MPH, is a urologist and an Associate Professor of Clinical Urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA. He specializes in the treatment of kidney stones with both surgery and dietary prevention and the in the treatment of kidney and prostate cancer using the latest robotic surgical approaches. He sees patients at clinics located in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and La Canada, CA. He is the founder of the www.KidneyStoners.org website.
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74 Responses to What are my chances of successfully passing my stone?- A KidneyStoners.org Infographic

  1. Isabel says:

    Do you guys ever know where the stone is without getting a scan? I have one at the moment, not sure what size. But the renal colic pain was so bad earlier on the left hand side of my lower back…it seems to have dissipated now so I’m wondering if it has finally travelled into the bladder. I hope so! :/

  2. SRM says:

    Correction : 6 MM stone

  3. SRM says:

    I’ve just had an operation to remove a 5mm stone but to my astonishment as soon as woke from the operation the surgeon said I did have one anymore. Scary thing is : 1. I didn’t feel it pass or even close to passing , 2: why didn’t surgeon perform CT scan before operations ? He only referred to one one month previously.

    So pissed I had an operation (with stent installed for a week) for no reason. Any comment from professionals on how this was handled ?

    Ps: drank lemon juice and spent 3 days at Oktoberfest!!!

  4. Mike says:

    I have a 5-6mm stone that finally went into my bladder. Can a stone that size, especially if it’s closer to 6mm, exit the urethra without lots of pain? I’ve read horror stories saying it got stuck in the penis… If anyone replies, thanks.

    • SRM says:

      I’ve just passed a 6mm without really knowing. I drank lemon juice and loads of Bavarian beer. Shame I had to have an operation to find out it had already passed!!

  5. viren shah says:

    Hello there
    I am having 10mm calculi at VU junction and a crystal im midpole
    Can anyone suggest should i go for surgery or any other method

    Thank u

  6. qashi says:

    I have had suffering from 8mm in my right side ..
    i use boiled Melon Cover water and its now left only 4.3 mm …but stuck near junction of bladder …i also use hair of maze boiled water.
    to makr this juice put 2 glass of water and some amount of maze hair or cover of melon … boil until water remains 1 1/5 glass …cool it ..and drink 1 cup after 3-4 hours …drink planty of water …this remidy could help making stone thinner …Sorry for poor english …
    another thing i heared from my coworkers that lycopodium and berboras are homeopathy madicine which also disolve kidney stone but i didnt tried yet ….

  7. Indra subedi says:

    Its not normal to pass 6.5 mm solid kidney stone by own.But i did from my left kidney.it really pains when it separates from kidney.I suppose it went because of LOCAL MEDICINES/rough soccer game or due to extreme physical work nd lots of water or due to its oval shape where pressure build all around the mass of kidney stone.best way to remove below 7 mm kidney stone is to indulge with physical work/required amount of light gym,water&i can(+ve) attitude.(my experience nt an advice).But after all this my left kidney started producing numerous small kidney stones.after one year i got a 12mm kidney stone.i took local medicines and started playing volleyball nd drinking water.after 15 days it broke separating 3.9 mm from its mass bt stucked in the urethra (below kidney) nd i was unable to pass it.eventually i now is inserted with a stent which has made me suspicious through its acute burns.RUN RUN RUN AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATEr.
    ‘ prevent it through water’.plz drink water which i didn’t.nw i take 6 litres a day.

  8. Deborah Knight says:

    I have a 1.0cm stone in right kidney a 2 1.0cm stones in my left will these pass or what will be done to get them out

  9. Michelle says:

    Hi have a descent size kidney stone coming in at 6mm. I have the done the usual and had the CT, seen then the Urologist and been to the ER too. The stone as of Friday, was low in the left ureter and blocking the whole thing. My question is can you pass pieces of the stones without intervening or will it always pass together. I’m taking flowax and am straining my urine and found a peice of brown jagged rock like piece in my last collection.

  10. Mary says:

    I suffer from a condition called MSK. It is not a very common form of kidney disease, also both of my kidneys are affected. Diagnosed at age 30, was somewhat of a relief due to chronic pain that doctors couldn’t figure out. I bounce from urologist to urologist because no one wants to be proactive in my care; each new dr says we will watch them and if I become really ill, they can be surgically removed. ( I have well over 150 stones between both kidneys) 2 days ago had to be the worst episode ever. The entire episode lasted 3 weeks. I had hydronephrosis in my right kidney and was never admitted. I spent the last 4 days of that 3 week time frame in agony while trying to urinate, ( BRIGHT RED urine) Sunday morning I had tremendous spasms and hardly any pee was coming out until I heard the unmistakable clunk of a stone into the strainer. My stone was 11mm long by 10mm wide. A few min later spasms started up again and I passed 4 more stones sizes 2mm-6mm. The rest of the day I was bleeding pretty bad and had a few clots, I guess because of the size and the amount of stones. Also, all those stones that passed were passed at home and naturally- the only medication used was Advil alternated with Tylenol. Just wanted to share because it IS possible to pass them without surgery (also depending on size of ureters and stone type)

  11. Kelly wright says:

    I just passed a 4mm stone & I’m scheduled for CT scan in morning but before I passed it I felt as if I was in labor. I felt like I constantly had to urinate & I couldn’t go, but I had the feeling to push just like you would during child birth. The stone was in the mid ureter on 5/19 last scan. It felt like something tore but no bleeding when it passed. I have some pressure in lower abdominal area still and some burning when I go to the bathroom but nothing really. Has anyone felt this or should I be concerned? I have had stones in the past but never had this feeling before. Thanks for you time and good luck to everyone.

    • Nona says:

      I just passed my stone, I don’t really know what size it is, I found it on the edge of the toilet on a wet toilet tissue, under a magnifying glass it looks like a pink coral I would say its about a 5-6 mm long & skinny, the pain was so severe in my left side of my stomach that I was upchucking every hour while spending the nights on the bathroom floor for 2 days. Suddenly I felt as if something like a blade was coming out of my urethra & no pain in my stomach, & suddenly the urine flow was smooth as honey, instantly the pain was completely gone, as if I just gave birth, when I got up I looked in the toilet & there was the stone. I was elated because the whole while I was under the impression I had eaten a contaminated food stuff. Now 3 days later I still have a dull to moderate pressure pain in my groin area especially at bed time. I have no idea if its related to passing or a new one coming. My question is could I be passing another miserable stone??? I read somewhere that eating a raw onion will pass the stone without much fuss, is that true??? I know onions contain “cysteine sulphoxides”, are those compounds a catalyst to now days pulverizing calculi?? PLEASE ELABORATE!!

  12. ruth boyle says:

    the hospital says I have a 7mm kidney stone and the doctor says I will need surgery, is there any other way with out surgery

    • Peter says:

      Just drink a lot of water and lemon juice with olive oil…i just passed a 9mm kidney stone last day and before that i also passed 11mm stone last december of 2015…alpha blockers can help also like flomax…

      • Kieth Stone says:

        Olive oil? You think the oil will lube up the ureters?

        The truth is, you should get some tamsulosin (flomax) and drink plenty of fluid

  13. niraj says:

    i pass 10 mm stone.aftter having in right kidney. i take lemin juice two to three times daily and ceystone tablet twice in daily.after 20 days stone goes in urethral.suddenly my urine pressure is slow and paining.than i having lemon and olive oil mixer 5-6 days.surpsingly my stone pass by urine.good luck

  14. Manko Molabe says:

    How possible is it to pass 12mm x 4mm stone without any medical intervention. its seems like i just did without been aware that i have one. have the sample with me

    • Kieth Stone says:

      If you passed it, that would make it 100%.

      Where is the question?

      I just droped a hammer and it fell down, so what’s the chance that gravity was workinng?

  15. Mohsin says:

    I have.16mm stone in left mid of ureter.can I pass this stone urine..or should I go fur any surgery

  16. Tanveer says:

    my mother has 2 stones one of 10mm and the other is 7mm. the second one is in bladder and the first one is moving from kidney. pain killer injections are being used to avoid pain. is it possible these stones will remove with urine or some other method may be suggested.

  17. Marion says:

    I have a 6mm stone stuck near bladder and been there 6months and hospital have left me to flush it out and the pain is bad but no-one will help me.will this pass?

  18. Beth says:

    I have a 12mm*6mm kidney stone in the renal pelvis with partial blockage. What will need to be done to get rid of this stone? Will I have to have surgery?

  19. latasha says:

    I was at the er on Thursday and admitted with a 4mm kidney stone . I was discharged Friday and still didn’t pass my stone while in the hospital. I returned to the hospital Sunday with severe pain in my lower abdomen . the stone feels like it is right at the urethra ready to be pushed out like a baby ! while at the hospital on Sunday I thought I had past it ! well I was wrong and am right back to the pain I was in at the beginning ! how long is it going to take to pass this stone ? is it possible for the stone to get stuck in this area !! please help me !! im ready to pass out.

  20. Gaurav verma says:

    Hi, i have a stone problem but since yesterday I am having a little pain ,after having the ultrasound I found 10mm stone in the lower ureter near VUJ. Is there any any chance to pass it through urine without surgery. I consult to my doctor and he said to wait five days and giving his treatment .

  21. FF says:

    I went to the ER one month ago with severe pain and found out was because of a 2mm stone on my right kidney.
    Now I have this burning sensation and urge to pee and it hurts all day long, non-stop. I don’t know if the stone is moving but it hurts a lot. It’s being such a long time since that severe pain, isn’t it 30 days enough to pass a stone?

  22. Farook Shaik says:

    Hello All,

    I had stomach pain on last Sunday 16th Aug 2015 and as per the doctors advice, I had Ultra sound scan and CT scan as well. I have 2 stones in side the kidney and 1 stone of size 6.5 * 4.5 mm in the Right Proximal Uretor.Do I need to go for Ureteroscopy immediately or if I can wait, how many days I can wait to get the stone in Urine. Please advice. Your input will really help me. Thank You.
    Ph : 9916542464

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