If the stone is symptomatic, you may need hospital admission for pain relief, anti-nausea medications, and sometimes intravenous fluids. In certain situations, a tablet called tamsulosin (Flomaxtra) may be beneficial in helping pass a kidney stone which is obstructing the ureter. If an underlying infection is suspected (fevers, chills, or high temperatures), urgent medical treatment should be sought immediately at the nearest hospital Emergency Department.
A great majority of stones are small (less than 4mm) and pass spontaneously. Surgical treatment may be warranted in specific circumstances to treat those stones causing persistent symptoms, or if it results in potential kidney damage or infection. If surgery is deemed necessary, the vast majority can be treated with keyhole surgery allowing quicker recovery. Occasionally, a temporary hollow tube called a stent will be required to assist in keeping the urinary tract unobstructed either before or after definitive stone surgery has been carried out. Asymptomatic kidney stones may also require treatment if they are large in size, at risk of causing future symptoms, or associated with specific circumstances necessitating their removal i.e. planning for future pregnancy or in certain occupations groups where having a stone can present significant problems (airline pilots, working in isolated areas, or frequent travellers).