3-4mm stone in distal ureter has not yet passed after 5 weeks. Might it stil pass??

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I've had symptoms of kidney stone 5 weeks now.

I had CAT scan on July 14 (3 wks ago) which showed a 3-4 mm stone in distal ureter, just above the UVJ (uretero-vesicular junction)

I have not had pain for about 10 days now, but have been having on and off burning on urinarion (dysuria) and urinary urgency for the past 5 days or so. It wakes me many imes throughout the night, needing to urinate

Family doctor said there was no infection . And snce there isnt pain any longer, he felt its unlikely that its now adversely affecting my kidneys. So he seemed in no rush to send me to a urologist. He said sometimes stones can even take months to pass spontaneously  [Is this true?]

He prescribed 2 weeks of Flow Max (Tamsulosin) , but there are some pretty annoying side efects.

I'm drinking about 3 liters of water/daily


1) How likely is a stone this size (3-4mm) at distal location-near VUJ- still to pass, if it hasnt yet passed in ~5 weeks?

2) How much benefit is the Flow Max at this point in terms in terms of increasing my chances of spontaneous passage?

Thank you kindly:


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi ELi,I too have had exactly the same symptoms as you so don't fret you are not alone .IVe also for the last few days had the urge to urinate all the time and waking at night to go also and discomfort burning when I do go.So I guess it's all par for the cause for all of us.Last night I passed a stone roughly 3-4mm and it was a jaggered little one.The next day I had wicked pain at the end of my penis coming in waves so I guess it did a little damage on the way out.So fair not it will come out you just have to be patient as I've waited 3 weeks myself.IM off to urology on Wednesday for a check up myself as I believe I also have a stone lodged in my urethra which is not moving.IF your doc doesn't seem to be to concerned you shouldn't be either as they know these things take TIME.But if it stops your flow and you have an increase in pain ramp up the Meds.

    • Posted

      Thank you Darren. And congrats on passing that stone! (same size as mine btw.)

      My concern  now is not the symptoms, but the fact that it hasnt yet passed. And the symptoms began exactly 6 weeks ago. From what i've read, with stones that size in the distal ureter, especially at UVJ- theres ~90% chance they'll pass spontaneously within 4 weeks.

      So my question is if 6 weeks has passed and no luck, does that imply that it's stuck and wont pass? How long to wait before arranging for intervention?

      I'm also wondering if the Flowmax (Tamsulosin) might increase my chances of spontaneous passage-or is it just for symptomatic relief at this point? The side effects of the Flowmax (dizziness and very sore eyes) are worse than the current symptoms of the kidney stone -which are really quite mild just now. I'd continue on it nonetheless if it really enhances my chances of passing..

      I'm hoping Sheffnet might shed some some light on both these issues of mine. He seems quite knowledgeable on all this.


      I too have occasional pain at tip of penis, but i doubt anything is in the urethra yet. My hunch is its referred pain from elsewhere in the urinary tract which is being (or has been) irritated. At least in my case..Shallow (very) hot bath makes that go away for me along with urinary urgency..

      Thanks again


    • Posted

      PS: I mean to say symptoms of kidney stone (renal colic) began 5 weeks ago..not 6 weeks ago
  • Posted

    My Meds also made me dizzy so I halved the dosage and it worked a treat.
    • Posted

      Hi again:

      Well,  I did  pass a stone, but cant tell if its the whole thing or only fragment of it.

      CAT-scan said it was 3-4mm back on July 14. but what I  passed is no larger than 2 mm. confused

      So either CAT-scan was wrong, or parts of it got eroded along that treacherous journey between Scylla and Charybdes...OR some of it is still on the way downstream...No idea how to ascretain this..question

      In any case, I'm stopping the Tasmulosin which at this point is causing  me more gried than the stone was ..

      Hey Darren. Thanks for encouraging me. Glad I ddint rush into intervention just yet


  • Posted

    Awesome you passed your stone ,just one question do you have sharp pain in your penis after you passed it?For the last 3 days I have had slight discomfort coming in waves at the end of my pen is,i wounder if I've done some damage inside as the stone had come out ?Any ideas?

    • Posted

      yes. its sore at the very tip now

      ..doesnt feel  like serious damage at all. just like a cut. but in a sensitive area..i dont feel it in waves the way u  mention it, but peoples pain perceptions can be very different...

      there was some urethral pain days before i  passed it, but this feels different . its pretty mild in my case. but its exactly what id expect to feel if a stone pressed its way out such a sensitive opening.

      im still not sure i  passed the entire stone. so its a bit of a mystery as to why it seems so much smaller than what CAT scan says. not terribly worried because i figure if another fragment is still there its gotta be way smaller

  • Posted

    seems it would be a simple questgion to ask your urologist...as to how common that is...he might reassure u   or else he'd ask to  have it checked it out if it persists

    my guess is many r so relieved to finally pass the stupid thing, they dont  pay much attention to that soreness..so it stays below pain threshold threshold..oddly,  after reading your post, im feeling it more...so it might just be about perception..

  • Posted

    Hi Darren:

    Glad to hear u finally passed  that second stone.

    I passed mine (3-4mm) back on August 11. In terms of symptoms 'im fully recovered now.

    However, in the ER they did notice my creatinine level (which is a measure of kidney function) was a bit too high.

    I was very worried about that!!

    So a few days later, my dr repeated the serum creatinine test. It was back to normal. He felt the abnormal creatinine reading was likely combination of dehydration and the obstruction caused by the kidney stone itself.

    However, when tht test as repeated yet again a few weeks after the normal result, it was a bit high again. Not as high as in the ER, but still higher than normal for me.The stone was still inside me while this 3rd test was given. I passed it the very next day. My dr thought it was still high because it went into some part of the ureter where it was exerting an obstructive effect on the kidney. And suggested to repeat it some time after the stone has completely passed. To give kidney function some time to recover. I just re-took the test again today...I'm kinda anxious bout the results.

    Anyohw, its important to realize that even small stones can (transiently, I hope..) effect kidney function. And of course, for this reason it might good idea to have them removed if they seem to be hanging out too long. Otherwise, the obstruction may do lasting damage. So pain isnt only reason to have a stone removed.

    My dr feels these quirky reading..going back to normal then a bit  back up again..are just part of recovery process from the stone. And will keep on it til it returns to normal. This is all quite anxiety producing


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