Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys or urinary tract. As a result, they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and sometimes lead to serious complications. But what happens to these kidney stones once they are formed?
Smaller stones in the kidney usually drop into the ureter (urine tube connecting the kidney to the bladder) and finally travel all the way down the ureter into the urinary bladder. Once inside the bladder, it is expelled out of the body when an individual urinates (Refer below image). This is the case in most patients but in an occasional case, this stone in the bladder may not come out and instead start growing bigger inside its new home(bladder) without the patient being aware of it.
Dr. Vinod Kumar elaborates on one such case.
A 42-year-old male patient consulted Dr. Vinod Kumar P, Sr. Consultant Urologist, at NU Hospitals in July 2023 complaining of symptoms such as pain while passing urine and a burning sensation. Further, he shared his medical history of kidney stones a year back when he had pain. He was advised to follow up with ultrasonography which was not paid attention to. He was treated for a urinary tract infection with antibiotics, but he did not experience any relief.
We further evaluated him. To our surprise, a CT scan image showed a substantially large spiculated stone of 5 cm in the urinary bladder. It’s very uncommon to see a stone of such size in the bladder.
The patient was advised for surgical removal of the bladder stone as a treatment. Upon his agreement, Dr. Vinod operated on him by open surgery, and the stone (calculus) was removed successfully. The patient recovered well and was discharged after 2 days. He was passing urine well after that.
The primary purpose behind highlighting this case is to emphasize the importance of follow-up and the sheer size of the stone. This patient probably had a kidney stone that dropped into the bladder a year ago and kept growing inside the bladder to a big size. Had the patient undergone a follow-up USG scan as advised by the urologist earlier, he wouldn’t have experienced the increased urinary pain and open surgery could have been avoided.