Ureteral Calculus Diagnosed and Treated by Urology Doctors at Mercy


This 3D medical animation highlights the anatomical location of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra and in males the prostate and depicts the steps involved in urination.

Patients throughout the Baltimore region seek the expertise of The Urology Specialists of Maryland at Mercy Medical Center. Our expert urologists diagnose and treat conditions of the urinary tract including ureteral calculus, urinary incontinence and obstructions in the urinary tract.

About the Condition

The ureters are the tubes that allow urine to flow from the kidneys to the bladder. Sometimes, stones – hard, small deposits of minerals or acid salts – get lodged in these tubes (ureteral calculi). The stones may originate in the kidney, bladder or ureters.  

Stones are more common among middle-aged and older adults and are more common among men than women. Most of these stones are very small and pass spontaneously out of the body. Larger stones may not be expelled from the body and can obstruct the flow of urine or create infection. The size and location of kidney stones and the presence of kidney infection are determined in an exam. 

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Stones in the ureter may include symptoms such as:

  • Sharp cramp in the abdomen
  • Severe back pain
  • Flu-like symptoms – fever, nausea, vomiting, chills
  • Swelling in the kidney
  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urge to urinate

Diagnosis may include:

  • Electrolyte tests
  • Urine analysis
  • CT scan of abdomen and pelvis areas

If, however, the pain is severe or infection is high, an immediate trip to a hospital emergency room may be necessary.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Staying hydrated is the best way to help prevent kidney stones. Increasing fluid intake may help smaller stones escape the body, but larger stones may require:

  • Medications such as alpha or calcium blockers to help release the stones
  • Endoscopic procedure
  • Shock wave lithotripsy to break up the stones
  • Laser lithotripsy
  • Surgery 
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