Kidney Stones Support Group

Kidney Stones are solid crystals of dissolved minerals in urine found inside the kidneys or ureters. They vary in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. Kidney stones typically leave the body in the urine stream; if they grow relatively large before passing, obstruction of a ureter and distention with urine can cause severe pain most commonly felt in the flank, lower abdomen and groin.

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How big is BIG?

The only info I have is that I have a 6mm stone coming down a 5mm pipe. Last know location is in my bladder.

I'm on meds for a month called Flomax. It's supposed to enlarge the "pipe" to allow easier passage. Is anyone else on this?



this is a great question:
1) Stones smaller than 5 mm will pass spontaneously in approximately 90 percent of patients.
2) The rates of passage decrease as stone size increases; a 1-cm stone has a less than 10 percent chance of passing without surgical intervention.
3) Recent studies have suggested that the use of the alpha1 -adrenergic blocker tamsulosin (Flomax) can increase the chance of spontaneous passage of ureteral stones.
4) However, immediate surgical intervention with a ureteral stent or percutaneous nephrostomy is necessary if the patient exhibits signs and symptoms of obstruction and infection

Dr O.

Thanks for the info!

What I'm worried about is Flomax. According to DS the only use for Flomax is for enlarged prostates.

Is there any sign, besides pain and blood, to know that a stone is still in you?

Hi guys, I'm new to this site, but not to kidney stones. Ugh! How big is big? Hmmm. Well, I'm scheduled for surgery on Tuesday to take out a kidney stone the Dr said was a bit larger than an egg!! I had a kidney stone approx a year ago (same kidney), but they were able to go in there vaginally and take the thing out!

I was reading some of the posts on stents. I, too, hate them. My first experience was a year go, and I swore I would never have another one of them inside of me no matter what. Well, the Dr warned me that after this surgery (PERC), I would have a stent in for a few weeks. OMG, for a few weeks??? God help me!!!!!!!!!

This is only my second bout with a kidney stone, but I've had UTI's for as long as I can remember. I'm 53 now...I remember having kidney infections and UTI's when I was in my late teens and early 20's. Also, it seems it was always the left kidney that was affected.

Does anyone know if most kidney stones "prefer" one kidney to the other? I can't remember ever having a kidney stone on my right kidney.

Even though this stone is big, I have absolutely NO symptoms. The only reason it was even discovered is because I had a CT Scan for something totally different, and it showed a kidney stone on my left, and a Myolipoma (benign tumor) on my right kidney. Had it not been for the CT Scan I would not even know I had the stone. Thing is, the Dr told me that if that stone kept growing, in about a year or so I would've probally had to have my kidney removed!!!

So how big is BIG? As far as I'm concerned, if you have no choice but to have surgery to remove a stone, that sucker is B-I-G!!!!!!! :-)

God Bless,

Hello, just to give you my history...I have a left kidney that is damaged, scarred, and has shrunken to 7cm in size. The doctors have been telling me for 6 years now that I have had a kidney stone lodged in the left lower lobe of the left kidney. It has been growing in size over the years, but they continue to do nothing except send me to pain management. About 6 months ago I had another CT scan and now they have said that it isn't a stone that it is "cyst"! The "stone" or "cyst" or "whatever" it is has grown in size to about 2cm which is extremely huge considering that my left kidney is only 7 cm in size. However, the stupid doctor says there is nothing to do with me that it isn't life threatening so we just leave it in there and keep pumping me up with pain meds. It is so frustrating! He is the 5th so called "specialist" that I have seen in 6 years. They all keep telling me there is nothing they can do for me or they keep referring me to another "specialist" that is better able to deal with my case. Hope this helps some, but I say if a doctor is willing to do surgery than do it, because leaving it in there is only going to cause big problems down the road.

I appreciate Dr. O's response. I just wanted to share that I had to have surgery (cystoureteroscopy w/stone removal and stent)about 3years for one that was 5mm by 3mm by 2mm. It was a jagged thing and hung out for about 6 months. Then this past April I passed (inpatient morphine every hour) a 7mm by 5mm without surgery. Not only the dimensions but the actual shape really impacts whether or not it passes and unfortunately you may not get that info w/a CT scan or Xray. I hope everything came out ok for you.

In my opinion, any stone you cannot pass without discomfort is big. I have had 10 stones ranging in size from 9mm to 27mm. All of them required surgery, and all of them have affected my right kidney (not sure why this would affect one kidney and not the other). I have never had a stone that flomax would assist with. My last stone was the worst. 27 mm stone in the kidney that dropped a 9 mm fragment that lodged in my ureter. I had two surgeries through my back to remove the 27 mm stone and the other one was removed through the urethra. the 9 mm stone had almost made it down to my bladder. I am still having residual pain issues 10 months later, as well as sexual function problems and prostate related problems. Neither I or the doctors know what is causing this, possible explanation I was given was nerver damage from the third surgery. My point is, though the 27mm was considerably larger, the 9mm store was ultimately worse on me in the big picture.
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