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Kidney Stone Specialist - Colorado Springs, CO

Kidney stones can often develop without your knowledge and cause severe pain as they start moving around the urinary tract. The treatment for passing a kidney stone varies widely depending on the individual, and can range from drinking more water to surgical intervention.

At Urological Associates, our specialists have considerable experience in helping people with this painful condition. We assess kidney stones using state-of-the-art diagnostics, and use minimally invasive procedures to break the stones up and remove them. Call Urological Associates today to schedule a consultation, or request an appointment online.

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FAQs on Kidney Stones

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys. Kidney stone pain can be excruciating, but the stones don’t normally cause serious harm as long as they are diagnosed early.

There are various types of kidney stones, including:

  • Calcium stones
  • Struvite stones
  • Uric acid stones
  • Cystine stones

What causes kidney stones?

Although there is no single cause for kidney stones, several factors can increase your risk, including:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Dehydration 
  • Repeated urinary tract infections
  • High sodium diet

What are the symptoms of kidney stones?

A kidney stone will typically not cause symptoms until it starts to move around inside your kidney or passes into the ureters. Once this happens, you may experience:

  • Severe pain in the side and back, under the ribcage
  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves and varies in severity
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Urinating more often than usual or in small amounts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills

When you urinate, your urine might be:

  • Pink
  • Red
  • Brown
  • Cloudy
  • Foul-smelling

How long does it take to pass a kidney stone?

How long it takes to pass a kidney stone depends on its size and location.

  • Stones 4 to 6 mm pass naturally in about 45 days, although they are likely to need some sort of treatment.
  • Stones 6 mm or larger rarely pass naturally, but it can take up to 12 months to pass on its own if it does not need to be removed.

How are kidney stones treated?

For smaller kidney stones, your provider may recommend drinking plenty of water to help flush the kidney stones out through your urine.

Larger stones are likely to cause a lot of pain as they travel down the urethra, and can get stuck. In such cases, treatment options include:

  • Alpha-blockers
  • External Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL) - Breaks the stones into smaller fragments. 
  • Laser lithotripsy -  Uses laser energy to break up your kidney stones.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy - Minimally invasive surgery to remove stones through small incisions in your back.

How do I know if I need surgery?

You may require surgery if the stone won’t pass on its own, if other approaches aren’t working, or if your stone is affecting your kidneys. Speak to a urologist for a complete evaluation to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for surgery. 

When should I see a doctor because of kidney stones?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Severe pain that prevents you from sitting still
  • Pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  • Pain accompanied by fever and chills
  • Blood in the urine
  • Difficulty passing urine