Kidney Stone Treatments: Observation

For Patients

If you suspect you have stones, visit your primary care provider or urologist.

If you've been diagnosed with stones and would like to be seen in the Metabolic Stone Clinic, please call (608) 263-4757.

Medical management is an effective means by which to reduce the risk of future stone formation. Medical management incorporates observation, pharmacologic therapy, nutrition therapy, surgery or a combination of all of them.
Observation techniques are listed below. Use the links to the right learn about other means of medical management.
Treatment for confirmed kidney stones differs depending on: 
  • The patient's symptoms
  • The size and location of the stone
  • The patient's medical history, including whether the existence of any anatomic abnormalities or diseases
 Common treatments for stones that are not severe include: 
  • Drinking lots of fluids (100 ounces per day or more) to pass the kidney stone. The patient will be advised to strain his or her urine in order to catch the stone once it passes. The stone can then be submitted for chemical analysis, determination of which will guide subsequent medical management of that person's future stone risk.
  • Medications are sometimes prescribed to help patients tolerate the pain that may be associated with stone passage.
  • Exercise, particularly swimming but all types of physical movement, may be helpful in the passage of a kidney stone.