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Loin pain and renal colic (episodic, often sharp and colicky)

Pain originating from the kidney typically is felt in the loin, which is the space below the rib cage in the middle level of the back. It can also radiate down the groin towards the genitals and can vary in intensity from a dull intermittent ache to a severe pain that patients find very difficult to get comfortable with. Ladies who have experienced both say that it can be more painful than childbirth! Your surgeon or GP will discuss suitable painkilling options with you as some are more effective than others.

Haematuria (blood in the urine)

Blood in the urine is divided into visible and invisible (or found on testing)

Invisible blood is often found to be present if a patient has a stone anywhere in the urinary system. A lack of blood may indicate that the pain is due to some other problem rather than a stone

Occasionally stones cause visible blood, but these patients nearly always require further investigations regardless of symptoms

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Bacteria can hide in stones even after successful antibiotic treatment. Once the antibiotic levels drop, then the bacteria begin to multiply and subsequently the patient can get another urine infection.

Unfortunately, the converse doesn’t always prove correct and successful treatment of stones does not always prevent future infections. Our expert surgeons would always guide you through the pros and cons of any treatment.

Occasionally asymptomatic

It is not unusual to find a small stone on a scan that has caused no problems. These may not require treatment or even surveillance.

Some professions such as airline pilots have to be stone free in case of sudden unexpected incapacity secondary to renal colic. We may also suggest treatment if you are planning to travel to a remote part of the world.