Ask How do I prevent infection related kidney stones?

March 27, 2012

“I’m a 50 year old woman who was just diagnosed with a 16mm stone in my left kidney.  Ten years ago I had 2 massive (one the size of a grapefruit and the other the size of a naval orange) removed by percutaneous nephrolithotripsy.  They were Struvite stones.  I had 2 weeks of IV antiobiotics.  They told me infectious stones if cleared and treated to get rid of infection shouldn’t come back.

I now have a UTI, hydronephrosis and a new stone.  I admittedly was not drinking adequate fluid due to problems with incontinence (stupid I know). What am I supposed to do besides drink, drink drink fluids, to keep them from coming back?”


Effective prevention of future stones in your case depends on whether your new 16mm stone is also an infection related struvite stone. If so, the best means for prevention is to start with complete removal of the stone with surgery. Subsequently, you may benefit from a period of prophylactic antibiotic treatment (daily use of a low dose antibiotic) to prevent recurrence of new stones. Alternatively, carefully checking for any recurrent infections and treating them promptly can help to prevent new infections stones from forming.

If your new stone is not struvite, and is instead calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, or uric acid in composition, then you may want to consider undergoing metabolic testing to help guide prevention. Even without testing, all patients with these types of stones benefit from three basic steps: increased fluid intake, moderate salt intake, and moderate meat intake.

In our “Ask” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.

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 website.
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3 Responses to Ask How do I prevent infection related kidney stones?

  1. Rinku Maurya says:

    My name is Rinku Maurya. My problem is stone 16mm in Left kidney. I was consulting to doctor my disease. He said to me 16mm stone is very large & not possible to out to way Urine. Sir. I want to say, Is this stone without operate can possible with medicine.

    Currently I m going to treatment Ayurveda-Pitanjali

    Plz help me & give your suggestions

    Rinku Maurya

  2. H.K. says:

    Great website. Excellent knowledge shared in a very reader friendly manner. In terms of size, how long is the urethral stent usually, in men? Thanks

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