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.

6 Responses to Letting a kidney stone pass

  1. Arn says:

    4mm Stone inside kidney with no pain. Don’t fix it unless a problem? or Do surgery?

    All, any opinions or suggestions based on your experience or expertise?
    I am told i have a 4mm non-obstructive stone in the inferior lobe. This 4mm was found today. 3 Days back i was rushed to emergency and they found a 3mm stone close to bladder. I passed it (no pain now) and i think it should have passed out. During my consultation with urologist, he said there is another 4mm in the kidney that was not found during my emergency. The urologist says i must take a non-invasive surgery. I am a bit concerned and need more input before i decide. Thanks much.

  2. Chase C says:

    I just had two episodes this week. I have had a total of 14 now in 11 years. It’s been 3 years since my last major episode and now it’s like they’re coming to make up for it! Been having them since I was 17. Luckily they’ve only hurt when they started traveling and I’ve always been able to get them out. I don’t even go to the hospital anymore because they won’t do anything for me except shoot me up with strong meds. The last major one in 2011 the doctor wouldn’t scan me and said “With your history, I don’t want to fry your gonads.” I’m still waiting for one to come out that I had earlier this July. I can feel it in there, it’s just not “there” yet waiting to blast out!

  3. John Roberts says:

    Jump variations, such as 1/2 inch micro stutter jumps (like a jackhammer), to long jumps with a sudden heel stop (can be too much jolting to your head so you may want to be leaned over a sink when you do this one), to hula hip whips can help, as you never know what works all depending on the location, shape and size of the stone.

    I had a 7mm stone and it took 6 months to get to within 1 cm of the bladder and then got stuck in the narrow entrance which my urologist said was a one-way valve that is hard to pass stones through. Today, using its location on the X-ray as a guide, and after drinking lots of water and waiting for kidney discomfort (means urine is creating pressure to the kidneys at that time, as the ureter does not have nerves) I applied a Handheld Vibrating Massager to the area for the first time as I jumped up and down, and within an hour I finally passed it all the way through and into the toilet. From something I had read on the internet I leaned forward while going to the bathroom and the gush was so strong it came all the way out although it felt like an electric shock when it did that. I could feel the HVM’s vibrations though my whole body, and I am guessing it had the effect of the 70′s electric football game that used vibration to move players across a metal playing table.

    Research backs up to some extent that vibration massage is effective at removing kidney stones. See: “Effect of vibration massage therapy after extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy in patients with lower caliceal stones”.

    For the record, I used a “Wahl All-Body Massage Powerful Therapeutic Massager” with the suction-cup looking insert and on high and used it while jumping for about 2-3 minutes and that was it. I picked up the massager new at CVS Pharmacy for $22 but I would guess any fancier massager of this type should do the trick as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_football

    Research from Koşar A, Oztürk A, Serel TA, Akkuş S, Unal OS.:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10646674

    Massager I used was a “Wahl All-Body Massage Powerful Therapeutic Massager”:
    http://www.amazon.com/Wahl-4120-200-All-Body-Powerful-Therapeutic/dp/B000EQS33G

  4. Dr Rob Bate says:

    Had three stones, a ten by twelve in the R renal pelvis, a six mm in the left calyx and a two mm in the R ureter.
    The two mil nearly killed me, gross haematuria and awful, nauseating deep pain for several days.
    The big one was removed via a trans-ureteric approach.
    The six mm was left under review. Recent episode of mild haematuria, moderate abdominal pain and mild feeling of wretchedness for a few days. On recent ultrasound, it’s gone!
    So, can confirm that little stones can be absolute killers, bigger, smoother, stones may pass with comparatively mild symptoms.

  5. Rohit Shukla says:

    I also had 2 kidney stone. One was 7 mm and another one was 4mm. Smaller stone was in kidney and the bigger one in bladder. It took one and half month to pass. I took homeopathic medicines along with i had taken lots of water.
    I strictly followed my diet as doctor prescribed. After passing it i wrote a article about kidney stones and how i passed it

  6. Michael says:

    Had discomfort in kidney areas (about a 2 on a 1 to 10 scale) went to er and was told I had tiny kidney stones in both kidneys. Its been 7 Weeks and I still have the discomfort, not to painful just annoying. Been drinking massive amounts of water and cut all other liquids out. No blood or pain when I urinate. Felt a few pass from the kidney to the bladder, but nothing after that. Anyone with similar symptoms. Looking for answers. Thanks.

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