How to treat Kidney Stones

By  , Expert Content
Aug 02, 2011

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The treatment of kidney stones is based on the based on the type, size, location and cause. As most stones are small and can pass through the urinary tract on their own, watchful waiting is the most common treatment. If a stone is big and does not pass on its own, your doctor may suggest minimally invasive procedures to remove the stone. Read to know more on treatment of kidney stones.


Watchful Waiting


Most stones (about 85%) are small and they pass through the urinary tract during urination usually within 72 hours after the symptoms start. If you have symptoms due to the stone, your doctor after evaluation will advise you to drink plenty of water (as much as 2 to 3 quarts per day), stay physically active, take pain relieving medicines if required and wait for the stone to pass. You may be prescribed medicines to facilitate the passage of the stone by relaxing the ureter.


If the stone is small enough to pass without medical treatment, your doctor may advise you to urinate through a strainer, so the stone can be retrieved. This can help to analyse the stone for its mineral composition, further treatment and suggestions for preventive measures.
Watchful waiting is not recommended if you have symptoms suggestive of urinary tract infection, fever, and severe pain that that cannot be controlled by pain medication, or persistent nausea and vomiting.



If the stone is too large to pass on its own through the urinary tract, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment. Some other reasons to influence the decision towards surgical treatment include bleeding, kidney damage or ongoing urinary tract infections due to the stone.


The minimally invasive surgical treatments which are done for stone removal are:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): In this procedure, shock waves are used to break kidney stones into tiny pieces which can then pass through the urinary tract with urine. This procedure is mostly done on stones about 1 centimetre in size or smaller. The procedure takes about 45 to 60 minutes. During the procedure, the kidney stones are broken in small sand-like particles which are easily passed in the urine in due course of time. You can resume normal activity in a few days. The small sand-like particles may be passed in the urine for several months.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL): This procedure is recommended for people if shock wave lithotripsy is not effective or if the kidney stone is too large for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy to be effective. To perform the procedure, the doctor makes a small incision on the back to get access to the kidney and uses an instrument called a nephroscope to break up and extract the stones. The aim is to remove all the stone fragments using the nephroscope without leaving any stone to pass through the urinary tract. You may have to stay in the hospital for one to two days following PNL, and complete recovery may take one to two weeks.
  • Ureteroscopic stone removal: This procedure is performed on stones lodged in the ureter or in the kidney. It is an outpatient procedure which is done under general or local anaesthesia. A small instrument called ureteroscope is passed through the bladder into the ureter to break up and capture the stone. Laser may be used in some cases to break the stone. If possible, the fragments are removed during the procedure but some small fragments may be passed by the patient in urine. A small tube (stent) may be placed during the procedure in the ureter to relieve swelling and promote healing.


Read more articles on Kidney Stones Treatment


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  • Sara25 Apr 2013

    Hi: I am 12 years old and I have a 5mm stone in my left kidney and I am now in the hospital after my first of 3 stone surgeries. They will perform their 2nd of 3 surgeries. I'm not excited. I'm in a lot of pain please pray for me and my recovery. thanks. god bless you all

  • rajeev20 Feb 2013

    give the home remedy for kidney stones pls,............

  • chandan kumar chaubey14 Feb 2013

    sir .i have a stone of 13mm in the right part of ureter..plz suggest me solutions as soon as possible

  • Sanjay Kumar09 Jan 2013

    Dear Sir, I want to know the Ayurvedic treatment of 14 mm size stone of kidney. If it is, please send on my mail.

  • ACHINTYA LAHIRI31 Oct 2012

    if u have renal stone -start tking plenty of water atleast not less than 5 litrs a day- if possible more, can try cystone-avoid food containg oxallate like spinach tomatoes-bear etc-have periodic usg / ivp check up as follow up- in acute collicky pain -can have FLAVOXATE (urospas) after consulting ur Dr- tk care-say bye bye RENAL STONE and keep SMILING-lahiri, Sr CT SCAN TECH-GWALIOR

  • b k deoghoria27 Aug 2012

    i have 10mm kidney stone. pl advice me the Ayurvedic treatment for the same

  • Chandrashekhar25 Aug 2012

    Dear Sir I Have 2.5mm stone so please give me some medicine & help to remove stone from my body & give some tips for prevention of stone in future..

  • Chandrashekhar25 Aug 2012

    Dear Sir I Have 2.5mm stone so please give me some medicine & help to remove stone from my body & give some tips for prevention of stone in future..

  • Zaheer Abbas08 Aug 2012

    i have 5mm stone in right side please suggest me ayurvedice medicine i am 33 year old

  • bhavya shah26 Jul 2012

    i have 6mm stone in left kidney & 5 mm in right kidney please suggest me ayurvedic medicine. i donot want to operate and pls. advice me to take out stone naturally. i am 11 years old.

  • Ram kaushik07 Jul 2012

    i am suffering by kidney stone i have two stone. ist size 4.1 n second size 3.1. please suggest me about effective n home treatment of kidney stone. whats type food n diet should be taken n whats type food avoided.please suggest me.

  • gopinath 03 Jul 2012

    i have 13mm kidney stone in my right kidney. I m suffering from pain in the lower back and obstruct the flow of urine. Please suggest me the Ayurvedic treatment as early as possible.

  • M.Meenakshi31 May 2012

    I have 8mm stone in my right kidney. I m suffering from pain in the lower back and obstruct the flow of urine. Please suggest me the Ayurvedic treatment as early as possible.

  • Deepak roy25 May 2012

    i hv a 4.6mm small stone in right side kidney. In this time I m taking homeopath medice. Plz adviced me nd may i run. Plz rply.

  • vijay25 May 2012

    my name Dr. vijay sharma two stone my kidney. first 2.6 mm & 6.5 mm in kidney. please advice me what taken drugs. please inform me my email id

  • hussain golandas26 Jan 2012

    i have 5mm kidney stone... n i wnt to go 4 gym cn i do workout?

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