Letting a kidney stone pass

Many kidney stones will pass spontaneously and will not require surgical treatment. Whether a stone can pass successfully primarily depends on the size of the stone. Based on several studies of stone patients, a size criteria of 5mm  or less (about 0.2 inches) is generally felt to predict a reasonable chance (50-70%) for spontaneous passage.

The location of a kidney stone when it is diagnosed also is predictive of likely success at spontaneous passage. Stones that are more distal (closer to the bladder) are more likely to pass than stones that are more proximal (closer to the kidneys).

The decision to allow a stone to pass spontaneously will also take in account the amount of pain you are experiencing, your medical health, the possibility of infection, and other factors. Typically, a period of 4-6 weeks is allowed to give stones a chance to pass.

Medications to help pass kidney stones are now more commonly being given to patients experiencing an active stone episode. These medications can improve the chances of successful passage of a stone, decrease the pain associated with a stone episode, and decrease the time required for passage.

80 Responses to Letting a kidney stone pass

  1. TERESA BAZYK says:

    I had back pain for months. Did the V A’s “alternative pain management” program for 6 months; meditation, yoga & acupuncture. Pain was getting worse. Went to ER 3 times in JAN, was admitted on 26 JAN with 2cm stone in left kidney, 1.2 cm in right. I had almost no kidney function in right kidney. On 27th went to surgery. Whatever they did worked. Right kidney now functioning. So I wasn’t “abusing the ER” since JUL. Not a “habitual” ER user. Sorry for long post. Just so tired. I have never slept so much in my life. Guess it’ll take time to get healthy again.

  2. Kim B says:

    I was in an extreme amount of pain while my stone was traveling. Not just pain, but an over all feeling of fatigue and weakness. I was hospitalized for three days, and given medication and pain pills. I’ve just passed two stones today, one was a .5 and the other was small and rectangular. I’m just wondering if I’ll feel any better, I’ve still got 4 stones in each of my kidneys. Anyone experience anything similar to my situation? I’m hoping the pain, nausea and overall feeling like crap will subside, at least until it’s time to pass the next one.

  3. Brent says:

    I have a 7mm stone in my kidney and it’s been stuck in same place since Christmas ! Anyway I am having lipotripsy ths Tuesday and I’m hoping and praying it want hurt passing the smaller stones that they bust frm the 7mm ! Has anyone experience ths ?

  4. tracey says:

    Hi I have been getting stones every 6 months getting blasted pain free for 3 months than all over again I don’t seem to pass them so need blasting but at moment I need to go toilet every 5 min not an infection as its like straight water when I pee there was one in lower pole but I’m thing its trying to pass its 7mm

    • tracey says:

      Also the pressure feels like giving birth or stuck not sure what to do

      • Marion says:

        Hi Tracy,
        I have a 6mm stuck in my lower ureter and I feel that pressure too with pain.i have had this stone stuck there for 6 months and my urologist is still waiting for it to pass….I cannot take much more and so not know what to do…I drink plenty of water and some with freshly squeezed lemon juice that actually stops the pain as I do not like taking painkillers.let me know if you pass yours,it will give me some hope!
        Marion.

  5. ANIL SWAMI says:

    before 15 days i diagnosed and found 6 x 5 stone in my right ureter. Dr told don’t worry increase fluid and it will pass its own. Still i am waiting, also taking cystone, stonvil , hopefully it will work.

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