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Kidney stones - Complications of kidney stones

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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Complications that develop as a result of kidney stones are rare, because kidney stones are usually identified and treated before problems can occur.

However if a blockage occurs, there is a risk of infection, which in rare cases can damage your kidney.

Recurring kidney stones

The most common complication is that your kidney stones may reoccur. People who have passed one kidney stone have a 60-80% likelihood of having another one at some point in their life. 

Complications of treatment

The different kinds of treatment for larger stones (see Kidney stones - treatment) may cause some complications. Your surgeon should explain these to you before you have the procedure to remove them.

Possible complications will depend on which treatment you have, and the size and position of your stones. They could include:

  • sepsis: an infection that has spread through the blood, causing symptoms throughout the whole body
  • steinstrasse: steinstrasse is the medical name for a blockage that is caused by fragments of stone in the ureter (the tube that attaches each kidney to the bladder)
  • an injury to the ureter
  • urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • bleeding during surgery
  • pain

It is estimated that 5-9% of people may experience complications after having ureterorenoscopy.

Medical Review: April 17, 2012
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