Reference Index - Disease & Conditions

Back to Health Library

Female urinary tract
Female urinary tract


Male urinary tract
Male urinary tract


Bladder stones

Definition:

Bladder stones are hard buildups of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.



Alternative Names:

Stones - bladder; Urinary tract stones; Bladder calculi



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Bladder stones are usually the result of another urologic problem, such as:

Approximately 95% of all bladder stones occur in men. Bladder stones are much less common than kidney stones .

Bladder stones may occur when urine in the bladder is concentrated and materials crystallize. Bladder stones may also result from foreign objects in the bladder.



Symptoms:

Symptoms occur when the stone irritates the lining of the bladder or obstructs the flow of urine from the bladder. Symptoms can include:

Incontinence may also be associated with bladder stones.



Signs and tests:

The health care provider will perform a physical exam, including a rectal examination. The exam may reveal an enlarged prostate or other problems.

Testing may reveal the following:

  • Bladder or pelvic x-ray may show stones.
  • Cystoscopy can reveal a stone in the bladder.
  • Urinalysis may show blood in the urine, crystals, or an infection.
  • Urine culture (clean catch) may reveal infection.


Treatment:

Drinking 6 - 8 glasses of water or more per day to increase urinary output may help the stones pass.

Your health care provider may remove stones that do not pass on their own using a cystoscope (a small tube that passes through the urethra to the bladder).

Some stones may need to be removed using open surgery.

Medications are rarely used to dissolve the stones.

Causes of bladder stones should be treated. Most commonly bladder stones are seen with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or bladder outlet obstruction .

For patients with BPH and bladder stones, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) can be performed with stone removal.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Most bladder stones are expelled or can be removed without permanent damage to the bladder. They may come back if the cause is not corrected.

If the stones are left untreated, they may cause repeated urinary tract infections or permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys.



Complications:

Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of bladder stones.



Prevention:

Prompt treatment of urinary tract infections or other urologic conditions may help prevent bladder stones.



References:

Ho K-LV, Segura JW. Lower urinary tract calculi. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 84.




Review Date: 6/17/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Greater Baltimore Medical Center | 6701 North Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21204 | (443) 849-2000 | TTY (800) 735-2258
© 2014  GBMC. This website is for informational purposes only and not intended as medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with a professional healthcare provider.