Urinary Tract Stones and Treatment

When kidney stones or other urinary tract stones cause pain, we use the newest technology to help you find relief fast.

What Is a Urinary Tract Stone?

A urinary tract stone is a hard deposit of minerals, acid and salt that clump together in the urine. Normally, the stones are small and pass unnoticed through the urinary tract.

However, some stones become large, causing them to block the pathways where urine needs to travel. Stones may also develop and grow larger as they pass through the bladder, ureter and urinary tract.

Stones may cause no symptoms, or they may cause severe pain in the ribs, hip, back and abdomen. We provide expert diagnosis and sophisticated treatment to remove stones and relieve pain.

Types of Stones We Treat

We treat:


If our team suspects you may have a stone, we run several diagnostic tests, including:

Blood Tests
Urine Tests
Imaging Tests
Stone Analysis

These tests may reveal whether you have too much calcium or uric acid in your blood. Blood tests help us monitor your urinary tract health and rule out other conditions.

A 24-hour urine test may show if you are excreting too much of certain minerals that lead to stones or too few substances that prevent stones.

We may run imaging tests to visualize stones in your urinary tract. These tests may include X-rays, CT scan or a combination of CT and injectable dye.

We may ask that you try to pass a few small stones into a strainer. Analyzing these stones helps us understand the makeup of the stone and the best treatment option to remove the others.


The method we use to treat stones depends on the size, makeup and location of the stone you have. Small kidney stones, for example, don't require invasive treatment. We may recommend water, pain relievers or other medical therapies.

If these treatments don't help, we offer extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy and other sophisticated treatments for effective relief.

We use minimally invasive surgery to localize soundwaves and break up the stone. The sound waves create strong vibrations that shatter the stones into tiny pieces, which then easily pass into your urine.

We enter through the ureter to access the bladder, so we don't have to make any incisions. We use a thin, flexible scope to break apart and remove stones.

During RIRS, our surgeons access the stones through the rectum rather than the urethra. The size and location of the stones help determine which treatment path is right for you.

Under general anesthesia, we use small instruments to surgically remove large stones. You may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two to recover. We typically use this surgery only if ESWL is not effective.

Have Questions or Need Help?

To make an appointment or refer a patient, call the Department of Urology team. You can also have us call you back at your convenience.

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Pacific Time (U.S.)
Available 7 days a week, 6 am - 9 pm PT