A kidney stone that is able to be passed without surgical intervention can take up to 6 weeks. Beyond that time, a doctor should be consulted to look into minor surgery to remove the stone. 90% of stones that are 5 milimeters or less in diameter will pass on their own. Pain management is important for people who are treating kidney stones at home. In addition, many websites note to drink 2 liters of water per day. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine (as a result of growth of the stone or movement of the stone through the urinary system).
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a method used to break up stones. Water pouches are placed on the skin and high intensity ultrasound waves are sent to the stone, breaking it up into smaller pieces that can be passed by the patient. Another method used to remove stones that are more stubborn is percutaneous lithotripsy; which involves placing a probe under the skin near the area of the kidney or ureter, and introducing ultrasound to break up the stone.
If the above method is unfeasable for any reason, a cytoscopy will be performed. This procedure involves threading a camera with a crushing device up the urethra. The stone will either be crushed and the pieces to naturally pass, or the stone will be pulled out.
Surgery, involving cutting directly into the skin and blocked passageway is a last resort.