Ureteric Stones

Ureteral stones

When the kidney stones become stuck in a single or both the ureters, then they are known as Ureteral stones. If the stone is big in size, the flow of the urine can get blocked. This may lead to loss of motion of the urine from the kidney to the bladder. The blockage can result in severe pain. Usually, when the urine becomes too concentrated, it leads to the formation of crystals, which grow into stones. The size of the stones may be large or small. While the small ones can pass through the body along with the urine, the large ones may not be so easy to pass. In fact, they can get stuck in the urinary tract and cause extreme pain.


How common are ureteral stones?

They are more common than we think. About 1 in 1000 adults in America suffer from this condition. It is a common ailment in the middle-aged people. An individual has 1 in 8 chance of having a stone.


Usually, the stones don’t show any symptoms. But when they get stuck or block the ureter, then they can show the following signs
  1. Intermittent pain is severe in nature. It may happen in the back, lower abdomen and under the lower ribs.
  2. Vomiting with nausea.
    If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should call it immediately.


The diagnosis is done in the following way –

  1. Physical exam and quizzing about the medical history
    It will include a urine test and blood test.
    An imaging test will be conducted to ascertain if you have any health problems which may be responsible for developing the condition. An ultrasound or CT scan
    will reveal the location, size, and hardness of the stone.


Ureteral stones treatment depends on the size and location of the stone. It also depends on the composition of the stones.
The physical condition of the patient such as weight and medications taken by him is also a determinant. If the person is obsessed or if the person is on anticoagulants, then the treatment process will depend on it.

Shock wave lithotripsy:
In this procedure, a machine is used to produce shock waves which destroy the stones. The small stones are passed easily out of the system when the patient urinates. It is the least invasive option of all.

Ureteroscopy: The urologist uses an instrument calls hysteroscope which is inserted in the urethra. The scope helps in finding the stone. The stone is removed or broken with the help of laser rays.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: In this procedure, the urologist uses a scope which is inserted directly into the kidney through a small incision in your back. This method also removes stones effectively.

Prevention :The condition can be prevented in the following ways –
Drink a lot of fluids including 2-3 liters of water and other liquids like lemonade and orange juice.
Limit the intake of animal protein such as fish, meat and eggs.
Limit the use of spinach,nuts and wheat bran as it contains oxalate.

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