Kidney Stones | Treatment


How are kidney stones treated?

If the stone is small enough, you might be able to pass it in your urine. Your doctor can give you medication to help with the pain.

If the stone is too big or is causing an infection, your doctor may use a special machine that uses shock waves to break up the stone into smaller pieces. This is called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, or SSWL.

A urologist (urinary tract surgical specialist) can put a very thin instrument through your urethra (say: yoo-reeth-ra) and into your bladder and ureters to find the stone. He or she can then pull it out or break it into smaller pieces. If a doctor does this, you will be given medicine to numb the area first.

Surgery is also an option and is sometimes the only way to get rid of a kidney stone.


Medical Management of Common Urinary Calculi by PK Pietrow, M.D. and ME Karellas, M.D. (American Family Physician June 01, 2006,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 07/06