Stone Collection Procedure

What is a bladder or kidney stone?
 
Bladder and kidney stones are hard, small deposits made of concentrated and crystallized minerals from the urine. Stones may pass without difficulty if small enough, but once they reach about 3mm in diameter, their passing can obstruct the ureter and become painful. There are several types of kidney stones, classified by the minerals they are formed from including: calcium stones, uric acid stones, cystine stones, struvite stones (result from infection), and other rare forms.
 
Why is a bladder or kidney stone collected?
 
Stones are collected for chemical analysis. Their chemical composition can indicate the cause of the stones, guide treatment options, and give understanding of how to prevent future stones.
 
How is the stone collection done?
 
If small enough, kidney stones pass through the urethra, and are collected at the time of urination. Stones can be made smaller by sound or shock waves or use of a ureteroscope (a small tube with a camera which can break up or remove stones). If stones are too large, surgery may be required to break up or remove them.
 
What is done with the stone sample?
 
The collected stone is sent to a lab, where it undergoes chemical analysis to determine the composition and determine the type of stone.
 
Are there any risks of the stone collection procedure?
 
Risks depend on the method of stone collection. Stones may damage the kidney, block the urinary tract, or contain bacteria which may cause a urinary tract infection. Discuss possible risks with your doctor.