Bladder stones

  • Definition
    • Bladder stones are hard buildups of minerals. These form in the urinary bladder.

  • Alternative Names
    • Stones - bladder; Urinary tract stones; Bladder calculi

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Exams and Tests
    • The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This will also include a rectal exam. The exam may reveal an enlarged prostate or other problems.

      The following tests may be done:

  • Treatment
    • You may be able to help small stones pass on their own. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water or more per day will increase urination.

      Your provider may remove stones that do not pass using a cystoscope. A small telescope will be passed through the urethra into the bladder to remove the stones.

      Some stones may need to be removed using open surgery.

      Drugs are rarely used to dissolve the stones.

      Causes of bladder stones should be treated. Most commonly, bladder stones are seen with BPH or blockage at the base of the bladder. You may need surgery to remove the inside part of the prostate or to repair the bladder.

  • Outlook (Prognosis)
    • Most bladder stones pass on their own or can be removed. They do not cause permanent damage to the bladder. They may come back if the cause is not corrected.

      Left untreated, stones may cause repeated UTI. This can also cause permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Call your provider if you have symptoms of bladder stones.

  • Prevention
    • Prompt treatment of UTI or other urinary tract conditions may help prevent bladder stones.

  • References
    • Benway BM, Bhayani SB. Lower urinary tract calculi. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 55.

      Sharma R, Dill CE, Gelman DY. Urinary bladder calculi. J Emerg Med. 2011;41(2):185-186. PMID: 19345546.