Renal Colic

Renal colic (sometimes called ureteric colic) occurs when the ureter (the thin tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder) becomes blocked. This most commonly occurs due to a stone falling from kidney into the ureter.

Renal Colic
What are the symptoms?
  • Pain that can be felt along the loin to the groin
  • Pain is often severe and sudden
  • May have blood in the urine
How is the diagnosis confirmed?
  • Usually with a CT scan
How is Renal Colic Managed?

There are two main strategies for management. Conservative and Surgical management.

The decision as to which of the two approaches is recommended for you will depend on many factors including the following important factors:

  • What is your kidney function?
  • Do you have a single kidney or two kidneys?
  • Do you have an associated infection?
  • Is your pain well controlled?
  • What is the size and location of the stone?
  • Your personal preference

Your Urologist will be able to guide you through this decision making process.

A summary of conservative and surgical management is included below.

Conservative Management

  • This is where time is given (usually a few weeks) to see if the stone will pass of its own accord
  • Is only an option if the stone is small (usually less than 6mm) and there are no other complicating factors such as a single kidney or an ongoing urine infection
  • Also called ‘Medical Management’ or ‘Medical Expulsive Therapy’
  • Involves pain management and a medication called Tamsulosin which may aid in the passing of the stone

Surgical Management

  • Usually involves two endoscopic procedures
    • The first involves the insertion of a ureteric stent to unblock the kidney and allow urine to drain from the kidney to the bladder
      • A stent is a thin soft plastic tube that sits inside the ureter and passes alongside the stone
    • The second procedure is usually undertaken at least one week later and this is where a camera is inserted through the urethra, into the ureter and up to the stone where it is removed with a basket or broken into tiny particles with a laser
  • Your Urologist will talk you through the details of these procedures
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