By Eugene V. Kramolowsky II M.D.
Almost one in ten Americans will experience urinary calculi in their lifetime. Often patients present with urinary colic pain and ureteral obstruction. In the acute setting, medical management includes controlling pain, nausea, and vomiting, and care is often done in the emergency room setting. The patients with ureteral stones 5-mm or less can be managed with medical expectant therapy (METS). Patients are given pain medication, nausea medication, and Flomax (tamsulosin) and are followed with repeat X-ray in 1-2 weeks. At that time the patient’s change in stone location and clinical symptoms are re-evaluated clinically. Over 50 % of ureteral stones 5-mm or less will pass with METS. The physicians at Virginia Urology encourage patients to try to pass their stones if possible before considering surgical intervention, while infection or intractable pain, nausea, or emesis would warrant operative urologic management.
For patients with recurrent stones, Virginia Urology offers a 24/7 Kidney Stone Hotline ( 804) 560-7866. This hotline offers direct access to personnel to expedite less costly outpatient clinical management. Patients can be seen same or next business day.