What is the outlook for kidney stones?

The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although this is a risk of recurrence (the stones coming back). Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment from your healthcare provider. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.

It is possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you find you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make lifestyle changes to prevent future stones from forming.

Can a large kidney stone cause an injury?

Your risk of injury from a kidney stone can go up based on the size and location of the stone. The size of the stone is important as it passes out of your body. A larger stone could get stuck in your ureter, causing pressure to build up. This can lead to renal failure and, in the worst case (but rare) scenario, you could lose your kidney. The chance of passing a 1 cm stone is less than 10%, and stones larger than 1 cm typically do not pass

How long does pain last after you pass a kidney stone?

Pain from a kidney stone can persist for a few days after completely passing a stone, and this can vary. If the pain persists beyond a week after passing a stone, repeat imaging (typically an ultrasound) is obtained to see if any further blockage is present (sometime due to a remaining stone fragment).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/22/2020.


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