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Bladder Stones: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2023

What is the treatment?

Bladder Stones are known as a calculus formed in the bladder

How is the treatment done?

Bladder stones are hard masses of minerals in your bladder. Bladder stones develop when the minerals in concentrated urine crystallize. This often happens when you can't completely empty your bladder.Signs and symptoms can vary from severe abdominal pain to blood in your urine. Sometimes, bladder stones don't cause any symptoms.Small bladder stones may pass without treatment, but some need medications or surgery. Left untreated, bladder stones may lead to infections and other complications.Bladder stones generally need to be removed. Your doctor may recommend drinking a lot of water each day to help a small stone pass naturally. However, because bladder stones are often caused by the inability to empty the bladder completely, this may not be enough to make the stone pass.

Most cases require removal of the stones.Hand-held lithotripters use ultrasonic energy to break up the stone into pieces small enough to pass in the urine. Holmium laser lithotripsy uses a laser to break up the stone.Before the procedure, you'll likely be given an anaesthetic that numbs the lower part of your body (regional anesthesia) or that makes you unconscious and unable to feel pain (general anesthesia).

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If bladder stones are caught when they are still small, simply increasing the amount of water the individual drinks can be enough to pass them naturally.If they are too large to pass in the urine, treatment for bladder stones normally involves either breaking them up or removing them by surgery.Bladder stones generally need to be removed. Your doctor may recommend drinking a lot of water each day to help a small stone pass naturally. However, because bladder stones are often caused by the inability to empty the bladder completely, this may not be enough to make the stone pass. Most cases require removal of the stones.

Occasionally, bladder stones that are large or too hard to break up are removed through surgery. In these cases, your doctor makes an incision in your bladder and directly removes the stones. No studies have confirmed that herbal remedies can break up bladder stones, which are extremely hard and usually require a laser, ultrasound or other procedure for removal.Always check with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine therapy to be sure it's safe and that it won't adversely interact with other medications you're taking.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Bladder stones are common in children in developing countries — often because of dehydration, infection, abnormalities in the urinary tract and a low-protein diet. In other parts of the world, bladder stones occur primarily in adults.Conditions that raise the risk of bladder stones include:Bladder outlet obstruction. Any condition that blocks the flow of urine from your bladder to the urethra the tube that carries urine out of your body can lead to bladder stone formation. Bladder outlet obstruction has many causes, but the most common is an enlarged prostate.Neurogenic bladder. Stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, a herniated disk and a number of other problems can damage the nerves that control bladder function. Some people with neurogenic bladder may also have an enlarged prostate or other type of bladder outlet obstruction, which further increases the risk of stones.


Are there any side effects?

Bladder stones may not produce symptoms straight away. But, if the stone irritates the bladder, symptoms can include the following:Discomfort or pain in the penis for males,More regular urination or a stop-start flow,Starting a stream during urination takes longer,Pain in the lower stomach area,Pain and discomfort when urinating,Blood in the urine,Cloudy or abnormally dark urine.If a person does not face any of the above, then they are not prone to bladder stones.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The most common complication of bladder stone surgery is an infection of the bladder or urethra. These are collectively known as urinary tract infections or UTIs.UTIs affect around 1 in 10 people who have undergone bladder surgery and they can normally be treated with antibiotics.Complications from a cystolitholapaxy aren't common, but urinary tract infections, fever, a tear in your bladder or bleeding can occur. Your doctor may give you antibiotics before and after the procedure to reduce the risk of infections.About a month after the cystolitholapaxy, your doctor will likely confirm that there are no remaining stone fragments in your bladder.

How long does it take to recover?

If you have transurethral cystolitholapaxy or percutaneous suprapubic cystolitholapaxy you will normally be able to go home once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.In open cystotomy it may take several days before you are well enough to go home.You will probably be asked to attend a follow-up appointment where X-rays or a CT scan can be used to check that all the fragments of the bladder stones have been removed from your bladder.

Eating a balanced diet can also help prevent the formation of bladder stones. A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and whole grains. It is also important to limit your consumption of sugar and salt because both of these substances can increase the risk of bladder stones developing. Try not to eat more than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day.Many foods such as fruit and dairy products contain natural sugars, so you can get the sugar that your body needs by eating these foods. Avoid food and drink that have had sugar added to them, such as: fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, jam, cakes, pastries.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

After having a transurethral cystolitholapaxy or percutaneous suprapubic cystolitholapaxy, you'll usually need to stay in hospital for a few days to recover.If you've had an open cystotomy, it may be several days before you're well enough to go home.After surgery, you may be asked to attend a follow-up appointment where an X-ray or CT scan can be used to check that all fragments of the bladder stones have been removed from your bladder.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

There are several low cost packages available for kidney stone surgery in India, depending upon the requirements of the person.Cost comparison for some of the kidney treatment procedures between USA and India may be worth noting. Many of the procedures find a huge difference between the pricing (about 7/8 times when we speak of Top-end surgeons).

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Kidney stone surgery has a 50 - 90% success rate, depending on the location of the stone and the surgeon's technique and experience. As a treatment, kidney stone surgery results in a very high success rate of complete stone removal. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help break down any developing stones.Some research indicates that if you already have an enlarged prostate, sitting down to urinate can help make sure that the bladder is emptied fully. This, in turn, prevents or slows the buildup of bladder stones.


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Written ByDr. Rajeev Sarpal DNB - Urology/GenitoUrinary SurgeryUrology
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