Why Does Bladder Stone Occur?
Bladder stones can occur for a variety of reasons. Some common causes include:
Dehydration: When the body is dehydrated, urine becomes more concentrated, which can cause minerals to crystallize and form stones.
Urinary tract infections: These infections can change the pH of urine, making it more likely for minerals to crystallize.
Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as kidney stones or gout, increase the risk of developing bladder stones.
Bladder outlet obstruction: If there is a blockage in the urinary tract, such as an enlarged prostate in men, the urine may become stagnant and form stones.
Certain medications: Some medications can increase the risk of developing bladder stones, including diuretics and antacids.
Genetic predisposition: some people may have a genetic predisposition to form stones.
It's worth noting that sometimes the cause of bladder stones is unknown. In these cases, the stones may be referred to as "idiopathic" bladder stones.
Bladder Stone Symptoms
Symptoms of bladder stones may vary depending on the size and location of the stones, but common symptoms can include:
A strong, persistent urge to urinate
A burning sensation when urinating
Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strong-smelling urine
Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area or lower abdomen
Nausea or vomiting
Inability to urinate or difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine
However, in some cases, bladder stones may cause no symptoms or only mild discomfort. These asymptomatic stones are often discovered during a routine examination or imaging test for another condition.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Some cases of bladder stones can cause serious complications if left untreated, such as infection, obstruction, or damage to the bladder.
Bladder Stone Diagnosis Methods
There are several methods that a doctor may use to diagnose bladder stones, including:
Physical examination: A doctor may perform a physical examination to check for signs of bladder stones, such as tenderness in the lower abdomen or a mass on the bladder.
Urinalysis: A urinalysis can help detect blood, infection, or other abnormalities in the urine that may be caused by bladder stones.
Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as X-ray, ultrasonography or CT scan are commonly used to diagnose bladder stones. These tests can create detailed images of the bladder and urinary tract, which can help a doctor identify and locate any stones.
Cystoscopy: A cystoscopy is a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. The camera allows the doctor to see inside the bladder and locate any stones.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend blood tests to check for other underlying conditions that may be associated with the formation of bladder stones.
It's worth noting that the treatment of bladder stones will depend on the size, location and the underlying cause of the stones, the doctor will decide the best treatment option for the patient after the diagnosis.
How is Bladder Stone Treated?
Treatment for bladder stones depends on several factors, including the size and location of the stones, as well as the overall health of the patient. Some common treatment options include:
Medications: In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medications to help dissolve small bladder stones. These medications may include alpha blockers, which can relax the muscles in the urinary tract and help pass the stones.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): ESWL is a procedure that uses high-energy shock waves to break up large bladder stones into smaller pieces that can be passed in the urine.
Cystolitholapaxy: This procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia. A small telescope is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder, the stone is located and then broken up into small pieces using a laser or other tools.
Cystolithotomy: This procedure is done under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the bladder and the stone is removed.
Ureterorenoscopy: This procedure is done under general anesthesia, a scope is inserted through the urethra and into the ureter, this way the stone can be seen and removed.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent bladder stones from recurring, such as increasing fluid intake and avoiding foods high in oxalates,
It's worth noting that the best treatment option will depend on the size, location and underlying cause of the stones, and the doctor will decide the best option for the patient after the diagnosis.
Bladder Stone Surgery
There are several surgical options for treating bladder stones, including:
Open cystolithotomy: This is a traditional surgical procedure that involves making an incision in the lower abdomen to access the bladder. The stones are then removed through this incision. This procedure is typically done under general anesthesia and may require a hospital stay of several days.
Percutaneous cystolithotomy: This is a less invasive procedure that is done under local or general anesthesia. A small tube is inserted through the skin and into the bladder to remove the stones. This procedure may also be done using a cystoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder.
Ureterorenoscopy (URS): This procedure is done under general anesthesia, a small camera is inserted through the urethra and into the ureter to locate and remove the stone. This procedure is typically done as an outpatient procedure.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL): ESWL is a non-invasive procedure that uses high-energy shock waves to break up large bladder stones into smaller pieces that can be passed in the urine. This procedure is done under general anesthesia or sedation and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
It's worth noting that the choice of surgical procedure will depend on several factors such as the size, location and underlying cause of the stones, as well as the overall health of the patient. The doctor will decide the best option for the patient after the diagnosis.