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Urinary Bladder Stones – Diagnosis, and Treatment

Urinary bladder stones, also known as vesical calculi, are hard masses of minerals that form in the bladder. They are a significant health concern globally, contributing to morbidity and affecting the quality of life. This condition is more prevalent in men, especially older adults, and is often associated with underlying urinary tract abnormalities or infections. This article provides a detailed overview of urinary bladder stones, with a particular focus on their diagnosis and treatment.

Urinary Bladder Stone Treatment Jaipur Dr Rajan Bansal Urologist C Scheme

Understanding Urinary Bladder Stones

Bladder stones develop when minerals in the urine crystallize and form hard deposits. These stones can vary in size and composition, with common constituents being calcium, phosphate, and uric acid. The formation of bladder stones can be influenced by various factors, including urinary stasis, infections, foreign bodies, and underlying medical conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and neurogenic bladder.

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors contribute to the formation of bladder stones:

  • Urinary Stasis: Incomplete emptying of the bladder, leading to concentrated urine and crystallization of minerals.
  • Infections: Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) can alter the pH and composition of urine, promoting stone formation.
  • Foreign Bodies: Catheters, surgical implants, or other foreign materials in the bladder can act as a nidus for stone formation.
  • Bladder Outlet Obstruction: Conditions such as BPH, urethral stricture, or neurogenic bladder can impede urine flow and cause stasis.
  • Metabolic Disorders: Disorders such as gout and hyperparathyroidism can increase the concentration of stone-forming substances in urine.

Symptoms and Complications

Bladder stones may remain asymptomatic, particularly if they are small. However, larger stones can cause a range of symptoms and complications:

  • Lower Abdominal Pain: Discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic region.
  • Dysuria: Painful urination, often described as a burning sensation.
  • Hematuria: Presence of blood in the urine, which may be visible (gross hematuria) or detectable only under a microscope (microscopic hematuria).
  • Frequent Urination: An increased need to urinate, particularly at night (nocturia).
  • Interruption of Urine Stream: Difficulty in maintaining a steady urine stream, often starting and stopping intermittently.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Recurrent infections due to the irritation and obstruction caused by the stones.

If left untreated, bladder stones can lead to severe complications such as chronic bladder dysfunction, recurrent infections, and even kidney damage.


Accurate diagnosis of bladder stones involves a combination of clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and laboratory tests.

Clinical Evaluation

The diagnostic process begins with a detailed medical history and physical examination. Physicians will inquire about symptoms, duration, and any history of urinary tract infections, previous stones, or underlying medical conditions. A physical examination, including a focused abdominal and pelvic exam, can help identify any palpable masses or tenderness.

Imaging Studies

Imaging plays a crucial role in diagnosing bladder stones. The following imaging modalities are commonly used:

  • Ultrasound: A non-invasive, first-line imaging technique that can detect stones and assess bladder volume.
  • X-Ray (KUB): A simple X-ray of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder (KUB) can reveal radiopaque stones, but may miss radiolucent stones.
  • CT Scan: A non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan is highly sensitive and specific, providing detailed images of the stones and any associated abnormalities.
  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): An X-ray with contrast dye to visualize the urinary tract and detect stones and obstructions.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are essential to assess the overall health and identify any underlying conditions that may contribute to stone formation:

  • Urinalysis: To detect hematuria, infection, and crystalluria (presence of crystals in urine).
  • Urine Culture: To identify any bacterial infection.
  • Blood Tests: To assess kidney function and detect metabolic abnormalities such as hypercalcemia or hyperuricemia.


The treatment of bladder stones depends on the size, composition, and underlying cause of the stones, as well as the patient’s overall health. Treatment options range from conservative management to surgical intervention.

Pharmacological Treatment

Medications can be used to manage symptoms, treat infections, and prevent stone recurrence:

  • Pain Relief: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other analgesics to manage pain.
  • Antibiotics: To treat any associated urinary tract infections.
  • Alpha Blockers: Medications such as tamsulosin can help relax the bladder neck and facilitate the passage of small stones only.

Surgical Treatment

When conservative measures are insufficient, surgical intervention may be necessary. Several surgical options are available:


Cystolitholapaxy is the most common procedure for removing bladder stones. It involves breaking the stones into smaller pieces that can be washed out or removed. This procedure can be performed using different techniques:

  • Transurethral Cystolitholapaxy: A minimally invasive procedure where a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra to visualize and break up the stones using a laser, ultrasonic, or mechanical lithotripter.
  • Percutaneous Cystolitholapaxy: In cases where transurethral access is not feasible, a small incision is made in the lower abdomen to access the bladder directly.

Open Surgery

Open surgery is rarely needed but may be required for very large stones or when other methods fail. It involves making a larger incision in the lower abdomen to directly remove the stones from the bladder.

Laser Lithotripsy

Laser lithotripsy uses high-energy laser beams to fragment the stones into smaller pieces that can be passed naturally or removed with a scope. This method is precise and minimizes damage to surrounding tissues. At present and cystoscopy and laser lithotripsy is the surgical method of choice in vast majority of cases even for large stones.

Postoperative Care

Postoperative care is essential to ensure complete recovery and prevent recurrence:

  • Hydration: Encouraging adequate fluid intake to flush out any remaining stone fragments.
  • Monitoring: Regular follow-up visits to monitor for any signs of recurrence or complications.
  • Medication: Continued use of medications to manage pain, prevent infection, and address any underlying metabolic abnormalities.


Preventing bladder stones involves addressing the underlying causes and making lifestyle modifications:

  • Hydration: Maintaining good hydration to dilute the urine and reduce the risk of stone formation.
  • Dietary Changes: Adjusting diet based on the stone composition, such as reducing salt intake and avoiding foods high in oxalates for calcium oxalate stones.
  • Managing Underlying Conditions: Treating conditions that predispose to stone formation, such as BPH or neurogenic bladder, can reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Regular Monitoring: Patients with a history of bladder stones should have regular follow-ups to monitor for recurrence and manage any contributing factors.

Recent Advances and Research

Research in the field of bladder stone management is ongoing, focusing on improving diagnostic techniques, enhancing treatment outcomes, and preventing recurrence.

Advances in Imaging

  • High-Resolution Imaging: Advances in imaging technology, such as high-resolution ultrasound and enhanced CT scans, provide more accurate detection and characterization of bladder stones.
  • Artificial Intelligence: The use of AI in imaging can aid in the early detection and precise measurement of stones, improving diagnostic accuracy and treatment planning.

Minimally Invasive Techniques

  • Improved Lithotripsy Methods: Development of more efficient lithotripsy devices, including advanced lasers and ultrasonic systems, enhances stone fragmentation and reduces the need for open surgery.
  • Robotic-Assisted Surgery: The use of robotic systems in urology offers greater precision and control during surgical procedures, potentially improving outcomes for complex cases.

Preventive Strategies

  • Metabolic Evaluation: Comprehensive metabolic evaluation and tailored preventive strategies for patients with recurrent stones help in identifying specific risk factors and implementing targeted interventions.
  • Pharmacological Advances: Research into new medications that can alter urine chemistry and reduce stone formation is ongoing, providing additional options for prevention.


Urinary bladder stones are a significant health concern that can cause severe discomfort and complications if not treated appropriately. Early diagnosis through clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and laboratory tests is crucial for effective management. Treatment options range from conservative measures and pharmacological therapy to minimally invasive and surgical interventions. Advances in diagnostic techniques, surgical methods, and preventive strategies continue to improve patient outcomes. Ongoing research and innovation in this field hold promise for further enhancing the care and quality of life for patients with bladder stones.

Best Urology Hospital for Treating Urinary Bladder Stones – Institute of Urology, C Scheme, Jaipur

The Institute of Urology stands out as a technically advanced hospital specializing in the treatment of urinary bladder stones and other kidney stone-related problems. Leveraging state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and cutting-edge treatment technologies, the institute offers comprehensive care for patients suffering from urolithiasis. Their highly skilled urologists utilize minimally invasive procedures, such as laser lithotripsy and endoscopic surgery, to effectively remove stones with minimal discomfort and rapid recovery times. By combining advanced medical expertise with a patient-centered approach, the Institute of Urology ensures precise diagnosis, effective treatment, and exceptional post-operative care, making it a premier destination for managing urinary bladder stones and kidney stone-related conditions.

We have also started the facility of online consultation so that you can discuss about your problems in detail with our experts from the comfort of your home. Please remember to keep ready all the investigations that you’ve had done so far so that it is helpful for the specialist to guide you precisely about the next course of action. At Institute of Urology, we strictly abide by the International protocols so that we keep up with the latest and best of what the advancements in the medical field has to offer.

Our doctors can be reached Monday to Saturday during working hours.
Dr. M. Roychowdhury – 9929513468/ 9829013468
Dr. Rajan Bansal – 8601539297


  1. Schwartz, B. F., & Stoller, M. L. (2000). “The Vesical Calculus.” Urologic Clinics of North America, 27(2), 333-346.
  2. Osman, N. I., Esperto, F., & Chapple, C. R. (2017). “Difficulties and innovations in the treatment of bladder stones in patients with benign prostatic obstruction.” Current Opinion in Urology, 27(1), 48-54.
  3. Torricelli, F. C., Monga, M., & Marchini, G. S. (2015). “Minimally invasive approaches for managing large bladder stones.” Journal of Endourology, 29(4), 467-474.
  4. Goel, M. C., Kumar, M., & Kapoor, R. (1995). “Cystolitholapaxy for management of bladder calculi: experience with 106 cases.” Journal of Urology, 153(3 Pt 1), 636-639.
  5. Schwartz, B. F., Stoller, M. L. (2000). “The Vesical Calculus.” Urologic Clinics of North America, 27(2), 333-346.
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