Jefferson University Hospitals

Kidney Stones

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A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms from crystallization of excreted substances in the urine. The stone may remain in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass all of the way out of the body, but a larger stone can get stuck in a ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This may block the flow of urine and cause great pain.

If you notice blood in your urine, cloudy urine or experience a burning sensation during urination, you may be suffering from kidney stones and should see a doctor as soon as possible. Urologists at Jefferson are experienced in treating kidney stones. We are equipped to provide a range of treatment options, including lithotripsy, to break up stones using shock waves or surgical procedures to remove stones.

If a stone becomes too large to pass, blocks the flow of urine or causes urinary tract infections (UTIs), more aggressive treatment may be needed. Turn to our experts to help you effectively manage this very painful condition.

Preventing Kidney Stones

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases, the best ways to prevent kidney stones are the following:

  • Drink more water. Up to 12 full glasses of water a day can help to flush away the substances that form stones in the kidneys. Ginger ale, lemon-lime sodas, and fruit juices are acceptable.
  • Limit coffee, tea, and cola to one or two cups a day. The caffeine may cause a rapid loss of fluid.
  • Consult your physician regarding dietary modifications.

Medications may be prescribed to prevent calcium and uric acid stones from forming.