Attempting To Pass A Kidney Stone

Signs/symptoms of passing a kidney stone:

  • Visible blood in the urine
  • Flank or abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Pain with urination
  • Strong urge to urinate, even if the bladder is not full
  • Frequent need to urinate, even small amounts of urine

** Pain from a kidney stone comes from the obstruction of urine and the dilation/swelling of the kidney, therefore the pain should resolve quickly after stone passage**

Passing a kidney stone without surgery:

  • Kidney stone size vs ability to spontaneously pass the kidney stone
    • <2mm = 95%
    • 2-4mm = 83%
    • 4-6mm = 50%
    • 7-9mm = 47%
    • >9mm = 23%
  • Ways to assist with kidney stone passage:
    • Time, allowing between 4-6 weeks to pass a kidney stone if tolerating well.
    • Utilizing Flomax (tamsulosin) 0.4 mg to relax urinary tract system to facilitate passage of kidney stone.
    • Pain control
      • Ibuprofen (NSAIDs)/Tylenol or prescription strength pain medication if needed
    • Anti-nausea medication if needed
    • Fluid intake
      • Consume 80-100oz. of water
  • Strain your urine
    • If you catch the kidney stone, please bring it to your healthcare provider for further analysis.

When to go to the emergency room:

  • Fever (>100.4 degrees)
  • Change in level of consciousness
  • Vomiting that will not subside
  • Unable to eat/drink for >24 hours
  • Severe abdominal pain (that is not controlled with oral pain medication)
  • Unable to urinate

If your symptoms change and you feel you are no longer able to pass the kidney stone on your own, please contact our office to talk with your healthcare provider.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions or concerns.

Reference: Curhan, G.C., Aronson, M.D., & Preminger, G.M. (2020). Diagnosis and Acute Management of Suspected Nephrolithiasis in Adults. In S. Goldfarb & M.P. O’Leary (Eds.), UpToDate. Retrieved March 24, 2020.