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Kidney Stones - When To Call a Doctor

Call a doctor immediately if you have symptoms that suggest you have a kidney stone, such as:

  • Severe pain in your side, abdomen, groin, or genitals. It may get worse in waves.
  • Blood in your urine.
  • Signs of a urinary tract infection, such as pain or burning when you urinate.

Call your doctor if you have been diagnosed with a kidney stone and have another problem, such as:

Recommended Related to Kidney Stones

Understanding Kidney Stones -- Treatment

If you've had a kidney stone once, you're at an increased risk for another one. A urologist is frequently involved in deciding whether you'll need an extensive medical evaluation, including testing the amounts of various minerals in your urine, to assess further risks of stone formation. If your kidney stone is small, it may pass out of your body on its own within a few days or weeks. Your health care provider will likely ask you to drink lots of water -- 2 to 3 quarts a day -- and prescribe a pain...

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  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Severe pain in your side in the area of your kidney (flank pain).

Call your doctor to find out if you need an exam when you:

  • Have been diagnosed with a kidney stone, and you need a stronger pain medicine.
  • Pass a stone, even if there was little or no pain. Save the stone, and ask your doctor whether it should be tested.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won't need medical treatment. If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.

If you are passing a kidney stone under your doctor's advice, you may be able to pass the stone without medical treatment if you:

  • Can control your pain with medicine.
  • Know how to look for and collect kidney stones you pass.
  • Do not have signs of infection, such as fever and chills.
  • Are able to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not have severe nausea or vomiting.

Who to see

If you need immediate help because of pain from kidney stones, you may see an emergency medicine specialist.

Health professionals who can diagnose and treat nonurgent kidney stones include:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 02, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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