Bladder Stone

Bladder stones refer to the presence of thick masses of minerals in your bladder. Bladder stones generally develop when the urine in the bladder becomes concentrated, resulting in crystallization of the minerals in the urine. Concentrated urine is often the result of not being able to fully empty your bladder.

While small bladder stones pass on their own, for larger ones you may require surgery or treatment. If bladder stone remains untreated, it can cause severe infections and other related risks.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen

  • Severe pain or discomfort in the penis

  • Frequent and painful urination

  • Difficulty in urinating

  • Blood in urine

  • Cloudy or abnormally dark-colored urine

Causes

Some of the most common conditions that cause bladder stones include:

  • Prostate gland enlargement or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

  • Damaged nerves (neurogenic bladder) caused by a stroke, spinal cord injury or other health issues

  • Bladder inflammation

  • Medical devices such as bladder catheters

  • Kidney stones

Risks

In certain developing nations, bladder stones are commonly found in children, mainly due to dehydration, infection and a low-protein diet. However, bladder stones often occur in adults, particularly in men who are around 30 years or older.

If left untreated, bladder stones could cause certain risky conditions such as chronic bladder dysfunction and urinary tract infections.

Tests and Diagnosis

Tests and diagnosis for bladder stones may include:

  • A comprehensive physical examination

  • Analysis of your urine

  • Spiral Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

  • Ultrasound

  • X-ray

  • Special imaging of your urinary tract or Intravenous Pyelogram)

Treatment and drugs

If the bladder stone is small, the doctor may sometimes recommend that you drink plenty of water daily in order to help the stone pass. However, in most cases, removal of the stones is required.

Cystolitholapaxy

Bladder stones are generally removed through a procedure called Cystolitholapaxy. In this procedure, a small tube attached with a camera at the end or a Cystoscope is inserted through the urethra into your bladder to clearly view the stone. A laser, ultrasound or mechanical device is then used to break the stone into small pieces. The pieces are then flushed out from the bladder. This procedure is usually performed under regional anesthesia or general anesthesia.

Surgical removal

Sometimes, bladder stones that are too large or extremely hard to break up are removed through open surgery. In such cases, the doctor makes an incision in the bladder and directly removes the stones.