The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located in the abdominal area. They function to remove waste from the body by converting it into urine. When the waste materials do not dissolve completely, crystals or microscopic particles may form. These particles may develop into stones, which can become stuck in the ureter (the small tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder). This creates kidney stone disease (also called kidney stones, nephrolithiasis or renal stone disease).

An estimated 1 in 10 Americans develop kidney stones in their lifetime. Men more often are affected than women. Kidney stones most often appear between the ages of 20-30.

The greatest risk factor for kidney stones is dehydration.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

If the stone is small enough (less than 5 mm), it may pass without any symptoms. However, larger kidney stones may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Sudden severe pain that gets worse in waves. May be present in the back, side, groin, genital or abdomen
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent or painful urination

Patient Resource

Advanced Urology is a proud participant of the Kidney Stone Center of the Rocky Mountains—a group of 60 referring urologists and 27 staff urologists who have been treating kidney stone patients throughout Denver and the Colorado Front Range since 1986.