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Are kidney stones serious?

UCLA Health
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If a stone is lodged tightly in your ureter, you could develop high blood pressure or renal injury if it is neglected for months or years. 
It's a hard question to answer. Kidney stones are not as serious as cancer, but in a particular situation they can actually result in a patient's death. The seriousness of kidney stones depends on their location. For instance, someone could have a kidney stone that blocks a urinary tract infection, so bacteria can't get out. If you don't do anything about it, a patient could get fairly sick and even septic or sometimes even pass away. Those patients are considered emergencies and need intervention, but it’s typically not an emergency if a patient has a little stone or stones that are not blocking anything.
 
Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Kidney stones are not considered life-threatening, although they can cause problems such as urinary tract infections and kidney damage. If kidney stones are left untreated, bacteria can grow behind the blockage and cause an infection. Long-term kidney stones can also cause a build-up of pressure in the kidneys.

Continue Learning about Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Referred to as "silent stones," kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. The first indication of a kidney stone is often a sudden feeling of extreme pain as the stone blocks the flow of urine. Kidney stones are one of the mo...

st painful urologic disorders and one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract.Most kidney stones - which are hardened masses that develop from crystals that separate from the urine in the urinary tract - are passed out of the body without surgical intervention by a doctor. A less common type of kidney stone, called a struvite or infection stone, is caused by infection in the urinary tract. Doctors are not always able to diagnose the cause of a kidney stone, which is why it's important to learn how to prevent them in the fist place. A person who has had a kidney stone in the past may likely form another one.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.