Certain kidney stone symptoms and changes in symptoms may indicate the need to consult with a primary care provider or visit the emergency room.

You should go to the hospital or seek medical attention for these kidney stone symptoms:

  • A sharp pain in the side, back or lower abdomen
  • Pain when urinating
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Experiencing immense pain, becoming unbearable

If you encounter any of these symptoms you should always consult with your physician so that you can be properly diagnosed and the condition of your stone can be understood. When patients experience excruciating abdominal pain, fever, chills, or sudden changes in urinary patterns, this can mean that the stone is causing a blockage in the patient’s urinary tract or is possibly infected.

A blockage or an infected stone may cause additional health issues, worsen current symptoms, and bring additional symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Should this occur, patients must visit the emergency room immediately. The patient will likely require some type of medical intervention such as medication or surgery.


Types of kidney stone surgery and recovery include:

  • Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL): Shock waves are applied outside of the body to break up the stones into fragments small enough to be able to exit through the patient’s body in the urine. Patients can return home the same day as the procedure, returning to normal activities within 2 to 3 days.
  • Ureteroscopy (URS): An ureteroscope (surgical tool) is inserted, without making an incision or cut on the patient, to view the stones inside the patient’s kidney. A laser is then used to break the stone and a basket-like device is used to carefully remove the stones from the patient’s body. Patients can return home the same day as the procedure, returning to normal activities within 2 to 3 days.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL): A nephroscope (surgical tool) is inserted via a small incision in the back or side of the patient to view, break up, and remove the stones inside the patient’s body. It is typically utilized for larger stones or stones more difficulty positioned. Patients are required to stay overnight at the hospital the same day as the procedure, returning to their normal activities after 1 to 2 weeks.

At the end of the surgery, once the stones are removed, the surgeon may insert and leave a tube in the kidney or a stent in the ureter (the tube that connects the kidney and the bladder) to help drain urine from the kidney. A stent is a thin, semi-rigid plastic tube that helps allow urine to pass from the kidneys to the bladder. However, the stent may cause some discomfort and will normally be removed 4 to 10 days after the procedure. Some patients may experience some discomfort or blood in urine when urinating due to the fragments of the stone exiting the patient’s body.



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