Patient Comments: Kidney Stones - Treatment

How were your kidney stones treated?

A Doctor's View on Kidney Stone Treatment

Read the Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Many kidney stones do not require treatment and they pass on their own. Drinking ample amounts of fluid facilitates the process. People who have kidney stones often require medications, such as over-the-counter ibuprofen or prescription ketorolac (Toradol) or narcotic medications, for pain control. Other treatments for kidney stones include:

  • Calcium channel blockers like nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat) and alpha blockers like tamsulosin (Flomax) to speed the passage of kidney stones
  • Shock wave therapy (lithotripsy) to break up kidney stones
  • Surgery
Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: Bill S, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

I just had kidney stone removed by ESWL (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy) on Monday morning, with a stent still in place. I was discharged yesterday approximately 12:30 to 1.00 pm. At home I spent last 17 hours urinating every 15 or 20 minutes. I cannot get any sleep.

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Comment from: mamama, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I am 33 and have had two kidney stones removed so far and currently have a small one waiting to be passed/blown to bits. I had already had appendicitis and gall bladder removal prior to my first kidney stone episode but the kidney stone was much worse pain than either of those. I remember passing out at work from the pain and then waking up in the emergency room (ER) where they told me it was kidney stones and scheduled a lithotripsy after doping me up a bit. The lithotripsy went well and they put a stent in but a day later, it hurt even worse. I tried for a few days to take the pain but I could barely breathe and it was making me almost delirious. So (brace yourself), I went in the bathroom and pulled out my stent. Much better! Doctor wasn't happy when I told him what I did; better than contemplating suicide over the pain. The next episode was after I had my first child, literally, about a week postpartum. Apparently, it had been in there the whole time growing but the fetus kept it from causing too much pain somehow. Again, I had another lithotripsy and another stent, although I warned the doctor about what happened the last time. Sure enough, the same night after surgery, I was rolling around in bed and no position brought any amount of relief. Finally, I told my husband to call an ambulance (which I need to be dying to ask for) and he said he would just take me in the car to the ER. I waited in the ER in a wheelchair for about an hour, trying not to pass out. When I finally got back to triage, my blood pressure was 70/20! Well, that got things moving. In about 5 minutes, I was in a bed with Dilaudid through an IV which was amazing for the pain although my husband says it made me say lots of funny things. That was almost 2 years ago and here we are again for the 3rd go round. Urologist says current one is not big enough to be causing pain quite yet but my back does hurt same place it always does when I have a stone, so we'll see.

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Comment from: Alice, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

They found a very large kidney stone by accident. It is lodged in on my right side, obstructing my ureter. I have to have the stent placed to surgically remove it. I have had it for quite some time and have lost some kidney function because of it. I never had pain from it though.

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Comment from: luvsack, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 04

They found a large kidney stone by accident from an x-ray for another problem. It hadn"t moved or caused pain so I was lucky. They used shockwave to blow it up into little pieces and I passed a lot of pieces. I asked if they could prevent them from forming. One of the staff had them 8 times. He said he found a test that had been conducted that showed one teaspoon of concentrated lemon juice a day prevented them. He had been doing it for 6 years and never had any more problems. He was having them ever 12 to 8 months apart before. I tried it but the lemon juice made me urinate too often to be able to go anywhere. I wish I had done it though as now I have another big one they are going to shockwave. The shockwave treatment is not painful or any kind of hassle. They just slightly medicate you and use a video game like device to keep blowing the pieces up until they are all small enough to pass with no pain. The doctor said the device they use is like playing the video game Asteroids, aim at the target and shoot it. Kind of cool in a way.

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Comment from: BexxieB, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

My kidney stones were treated with pain medication. Ibuprofen works amazingly but sometimes something stronger is needed. That's about all I ever got from the emergency room. The last time I went to the hospital they thought I had 2 stones and sent me home with pain medication to pass them naturally. It finally passed my ureter and then I had irritation to my urethra. I thought it was from passing the stone but the irritation wouldn't go away. The stone was stuck in there somehow. I was able to pass water normally but it felt like a urinary tract infection (UTI). I drank so much water and tried diuretics but nothing worked. It stayed in there for weeks. Finally went into the shower and squatted to relieve myself and 3 small (2mm) and one massive (4x5x6) stones came out without pain. The two stones the doctors thought they saw on the x-ray was one huge stone with two points on either end. I'm actually pretty proud I was able to pass that one.

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Kidney Stones - Causes Question: Did your doctor indicate what he or she thought caused your kidney stones?
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Kidney Stones - Prevention Question: What prevention measures do you use to avoid getting kidney stones?

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