Bladder Stones

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones or bladder calculi are stones that form from mineral deposits in the bladder. If the stone blocks the urinary tract, pain when urinating can occur until the urine is bloody.

Bladder stones can happen to anyone, including children. However, this disease is more at risk for men over the age of 52, especially those with an enlarged prostate.

An enlarged prostate can interfere with the emptying process of the bladder so that urine crystallizes and forms stones. If not treated immediately, bladder stones can cause infection and bleeding.

Causes of Bladder Stones

Bladder stones occur when the bladder cannot expel all of the urine that is stored in it. This condition causes minerals in the urine to precipitate and harden, then crystallize and become stones in the bladder.

Conditions that can trigger the formation of bladder stones are:

  • Inflammation due to bladder infection
  • Inflammation due to radiation therapy ( radiotherapy ) in the pelvic area
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Urinary tube ( catheter ) use
  • History of kidney stones or surgery on the bladder
  • Abnormal pouches that form in the wall of the bladder (diverticula)
  • Bladder down ( cystocele )
  • Diseases that can damage the nerves that control the bladder, such as diabetes , spinal cord injury, and stroke

Bladder stones can also be triggered by prolonged dehydration , lack of vitamin A or vitamin B. Frequent consumption of fatty, sweet, or high-salt foods can also cause bladder stones.

Symptoms of Bladder Stones

Bladder stones may not cause any complaints or symptoms. However, over time the stones that form can block the urinary tract or injure the bladder wall.

Common symptoms of bladder stones are:

  • Pain and burning sensation when urinating
  • Bloody urine ( hematuria )
  • Urine is more concentrated and dark
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urination is not smooth or choked up
  • Pain in the penis if it occurs in men
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Often feel the need to urinate, especially at night
  • Frequent bedwetting if it occurs in children

When to see a doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if you experience the complaints mentioned above. Early examination needs to be done to prevent complications due to bladder stones.

You are also advised to routinely control the doctor if you have been diagnosed with bladder stones. The doctor will monitor the progress of the disease and your body's response to treatment.

Diagnosis of Bladder Stones

The doctor will ask questions and answers about the patient's symptoms and medical history. After that, the doctor will do a physical examination, including by feeling the lower abdomen, to see if the bladder is enlarged.

To establish the diagnosis of bladder stones, the doctor will also perform supporting examinations, such as:

  • Urine test , to detect the content and components of urine, including seeing the possibility of blood, crystals, and leukocytes (white blood cells)
  • X-rays , to detect bladder stones
  • Pelvic ultrasound , to see the location of bladder stones
  • CT scan , to detect small bladder stones
  • Cystoscopy , to see a picture of the urinary tract

Bladder Stone Treatment

Treatment of bladder stones depends on the size of the stones. If the bladder stone is small, the doctor will usually advise the patient to drink more water . The goal is for bladder stones to dissolve and pass with urine.

However, if the stone size is large enough, the doctor will perform the following treatment methods to remove bladder stones:

  • Cystolitholapaxy
    In this procedure, the doctor will insert a camera tube called a cystoscope into the patient's bladder. The cystoscope is connected to a special instrument that can crush stones into small pieces.
  • Operation
    The doctor will perform open surgery if the size of the bladder stones is too large or hard so that they cannot be removed with cystolitholapaxy .

Bladder Stone Complications

Bladder stones can cause serious complications if not treated immediately. Some of the complications that can occur are:

  • Blockage of the flow of urine due to bladder stones stuck in the urinary tract (urethra)
  • Urinary tract infection

Bladder Stone Prevention

Bladder stones are a condition that is difficult to prevent. However, there are several efforts that can be made to reduce the risk of developing bladder stones, such as:

  • Drink more water , which is 2-3 liters, or about 8 glasses per day
  • Limit consumption of foods high in fat , sugar, and salt
  • Avoid the habit of holding back urination
  • Undergo routine checks to the doctor if you suffer from diseases that can increase the risk of developing bladder stones, such as prostate enlargement, diabetes, and stroke
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