สาเหตุ อาการ และการรักษาโรคนิ่วในกระเพาะปัสสาวะ - Bladder Stones: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones, also known as bladder calculi, are solid concretions of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. These formations typically occur when residual urine remains in the bladder after urination.

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What are bladder stones?

Bladder stones, also known as bladder calculi, are solid concretions of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. These formations typically occur when residual urine remains in the bladder after urination. Small bladder stones do not cause symptoms and can pass out of the body during urination. However, larger bladder stones can cause extreme pain, difficulty urinating, and bloody urine.

What causes bladder stones?

Bladder stones develop when urine remains in the bladder for an extended period. Residual minerals such as salt, potassium, and protein waste solidify into rigid crystals. The causes of bladder stones are:

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) can lead to urinary flow obstruction, impeding the complete emptying of the bladder.
  • Neurogenic bladder from damaged nerves, which may stem from a stroke, spinal cord injury, or other health conditions, can lead to incomplete bladder emptying.
  • Bladder inflammation caused by urinary tract infections or radiation therapy to the pelvis can be a precursor to the formation of bladder stones.
  • Kidney stones that travel through the ureters and reach the bladder can develop into bladder stones if they do not pass naturally through the urethra.
  • Dehydration can cause mineral buildup and bladder stones formation.  
  • Medical devices such as a bladder catheter, urinary stent, or contraceptive device may have mineral crystals formed on the surface. These mineral crystals may eventually transform into bladder stones.

What are the symptoms of bladder stones?

  • Your urine appears cloudy or dark. There is blood in urine.  
  • You develop frequent urination. 
  • You have pain or burning sensation during urination, accompanied by intermittent or recurring discomfort in the lower abdomen, penis, or testicles.
  • You have urinary intermittency and hesitancy.
  • You develop urinary tract infections.

What are the risk factors for bladder stones?

What complications are associated with bladder stones?

  • Chronic bladder problems. 
  • Urinary tract infections. 
  • Urinary retention

How are bladder stones diagnosed?

  • History taking and physical examination.
  • Urine tests
  • Imaging tests such as X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan
  • Cystoscopy

การตรวจวินิจฉัยนิ่วในกระเพาะปัสสาวะ - How are bladder stones diagnosed?

How are bladder stones treated?

  • The bladder may be able to pass small stones if you drink more water. However, if you are unable to empty your stomach, you may need other treatments such as:
  • Cystolitholapaxy (Stone Fragmentation)
    In this non-invasive procedure, a cystoscope is inserted into your bladder through the urethra to locate the bladder stone. Laser or high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) will break the stone into smaller pieces. Subsequently, the bladder is rinsed with fluids to eliminate the smaller stone fragments.
  • Surgical removal.
    Surgery is suitable for large bladder stones. A urologist will make a small incision in the abdomen and extract stones. If they are secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia, the urologist may also remove prostate tissue causing urethral blockage.
    After the treatment, you should recover within a week or two.

What are the preventions of bladder stones?

  • Drinking plenty of water can help dilute minerals in your urine so bladder stones are less likely to form.
  • Avoid foods high in sodium and sugar, such as processed foods, fast foods, canned foods, or soft drinks.
  • Those aged 50 or above who have an enlarged prostate should discuss with a doctor about medications or techniques to empty the bladder.

Preparation before the doctor's appointment

  • Make a list of your symptoms and medications you have been taking. 
  • Bring along a family member to help you remember the information. 
  • Take note of questions you would like to ask your doctors. For example:
    • Can my bladder stones pass with urination?
    • What are the treatments? Are there any risks?
    • Do I have to take any medications?
    • How can I manage my preexisting condition during the treatment?
    • Will bladder stones recur after treatment?
  • Prepare answers for questions that your doctor may ask. For example:
    • When was the symptom onset?
    • Do you experience the symptoms continuously or occasionally?
    • Are your symptoms severe?
    • Do you develop a fever or chills?
    • What improves or worsens your symptoms?
    • Do you frequently experience urinary retention or a weak urine stream?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • How are kidney stones and bladder stones different?
    Both are mineralized crystals but formed in different organs and have different pathogenesis. Kidney stones are usually asymptomatic unless dislodged into the ureter, whereas bladder stones can cause difficulty urinating.

Note from MedPark’s Doctors

Small bladder stones usually present no or mild symptoms. When growing larger, they can cause significantly more problems. It is advisable to have a proper diagnosis to pinpoint the cause of bladder stones and receive timely treatment to prevent bladder stone recurrence.

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Published: 12 Feb 2024

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