Mayo Clinic

Kidney stone treatment based on size, type, location of stone

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: How do doctors decide on the best treatment for kidney stones? When I had a calcium stone, my doctor gave me medication and told me to drink plenty of water until it passed. When my mother had one, she went through a procedure to break up the stone. Why the difference? Also, what makes these stones so painful?

ANSWER: Treatment for kidney stones depends on a stone's size, type and location. As in your case, extra fluids and medication may be all that's needed for some small stones. Other treatment may be necessary when a stone is larger. The pain associated with kidney stones usually is the result of spasms triggered by a stone stuck in the ureter, coupled with...

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