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.

254 Responses to Letting a kidney stone pass

  1. DD says:

    My boyfriend just passed a 19mm x 6.35mm stone. It’s the shape of an almond. He didn’t have a lot of sharp pain as he had with previous, smaller stones, but the has been experiencing discomfort and frequent urges to urinate. Basically his symptoms were the same as a urinary tract infection (UTI) so he’s been taking OTC meds for it the passed week.

    He was surprised at the size of the stone and lack of pain.

    Just had to share the story because HOLY SCHMOLY IT’S A HUGE STONE!!!!!

  2. Aggie says:

    This is my second experience with kidney stones, the 1st time I had lots of blood an only then went in to the ER, alas the stone had passed but they discovered that I had a 2nd stone 9mm that the MD said I would not pass. Four days ago, after 30 hours of pain and vomiting at home alone, hot and cold packs every hour, I take an ambulance to the ER where I am made aware that the 9mm stone is out of the kidney and is on the move, desending. I was given pain and anti nausea meds and sent home with terazosin to help eliminate the stone. how long has it taken others to eliminate a stone this size with this med? I don’t feel much pain, could I have passed it already?

  3. farhan says:

    Dr say u r stone size is 1.3cm .how to solve it without operation.

  4. Mohamed Meeran says:

    I have 10mm calculus in my ureter will it pass easily

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