Surgery may be needed to remove a kidney stone if it

  • Does not pass after a reasonable period of time and causes constant pain
  • Is too large to pass on its own or is caught in a difficult place
  • Blocks the flow of urine
  • Causes an ongoing urinary tract infection
  • Damages kidney tissue or causes constant bleeding
  • Has grown larger, as seen on follow-up x-rays

Until 20 years ago, open surgery was necessary to remove a stone. The surgery required a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks. Today, treatment for these stones is greatly improved, and many options do not require major open surgery and can be performed in an outpatient setting.

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