Things you need to know about the bladder stones
Bladder stones are stones present in urinary bladder. Bladder stones are also composed of minerals excreted in the urine. Bladder stone get form when the bladder is not able to completely empty and some residual urine remains inside. This urine gets concentrated during dehydration. As a result of urine concentration, the minerals get deposited which in turn form a nidus for stone formation. Over time these mineral deposits increase in size to form large stones.
What are the symptoms and signs of bladder stones?
Usually bladder stones does not cause any symptoms when they are small enough to be passed out of the bladder when you pee. But when the size of stone is large, then person feels irritation to the wall of bladder stone. It may also block the flow of urine.
Typical symptoms of bladder stones include:
- Blood in the urine
- lower abdominal pain, which can often be severe (men may also have pain in or around their penis)
- Pain or difficulty in urination
- Frequent urination (particularly at night)
- Cloudy or dark-colour urine
- Pain in one or both of the testes and penis
- Infection in urine leading to fever
- Interrupted urine flow
What are the causes of the formation of bladder stones?
Bladder stones can form due to urine left in the bladder after urinating. It can happen due to some medical condition that stops the bladder from completely emptying during urination.
Following are some conditions that can stop the bladder from fully emptying include:
- Neurogenic bladder: If the nerves that run between the bladder and nervous system are damaged due to some stroke or spinal injury, the bladder may not empty fully.
- Prostate enlargement: Enlarged prostate may put pressure on urethra and cause a disruption in flow, and hence bladder can not empty completely.
- Medical devices: If intra-uterine contraceptive device in a female is migrated to the bladder, then bladder stone may form over the device in time. Stones may also form over a urethral catheter kept inside for a long time for unrelated medical conditions.
- Bladder inflammation: Infections of the urinary tract or radiation therapy can affect the flow of urine from the bladder.
- Kidney stones: If the kidney stones migrate down the ureters and, if they are too large to pass, they will remain in the bladder and can cause obstruction.
- Bladder diverticula: Pouches can form within the bladder. If these pouches grow in size, they can hold urine and prevent the bladder from being fully emptied.
How to diagnose a bladder stone?
Your urologist can perform certain physical examination to suspect the presence of bladder stones. Following tests are done to confirm the diagnosis.
Diagnosing bladder stones may involve:
- A urine test:Urine sample is examined for microscopic amounts of blood, bacteria and crystallized minerals. Underline urinary tract infection can also be detected, which can cause or be the result of bladder stones.
- CT scan: CT scan can detect presence of very small stones. It’s one of the most-sensitive tests for identifying all types of bladder stones.
- Ultrasound:In ultrasound test, sound waves bounces back from organs and other structures in your body to create images that help detect bladder stones.
- X-ray:An X-ray of your kidneys, ureters and bladder helps your doctor determine whether you have bladder stones.
How to treat bladder stones?
Drinking enough water may help a small stone pass naturally. But if the stones are large and can not pass then, you’ll need to have the stones removed. There are a few ways to do this.
Breaking stones apart: In this method, first numbing medication or general anesthesia is given. After that, a small tube with a camera at the end is inserted into your bladder to let your doctor see the stone. Then, a laser, ultrasound or other device breaks the stone into small pieces that can flush out from the bladder.
Surgical removal: Sometimes bladder stones are large in size or too hard to break up. In such cases, your doctor will surgically remove the stones from your bladder.
If you are also suffering from bladder stone problem, contact Dr. Mangesh Patil. He is the Best Urologist in Girgaon. He is trained in Endourology and Robotic Surgery, with professional experience of more than 10 years in this field.