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Kidney Diseases

Kidney

08/01/2011

Question:

Severe right side pain appears to be a stone in CT scan and x-ray but not. Two laser surgeries performed determined a foreign object in kidney. What could this be?

Answer:

Without more info, it's not possible to give you a definite answer, but here are some thoughts that may help:  

What is your pain like?

This is an excerpt from our article on "Kidney Pain" (see link below for the complete article):

"The pain caused by kidney stones occurs when a stone becomes lodged in the ureter, the slender tube that connects the kidney with the bladder. Urine flow is then blocked, which causes urine to back up into the kidney. The kidney then swells and enlarges, stretching the pain-sensitive capsule, or thin covering around it.

"The pain caused by kidney stones is referred to as 'colic,' meaning that it comes in waves, as opposed to being a steady continuous pain. Pain from kidney stones is described as being almost as severe as that of childbirth. Patients with renal colic usually find it very difficult to hold still, and are in constant motion, pacing and writhing. Often the pain is so severe that it causes nausea and vomiting.

"Although the pain starts in the right or left flank area, it may move as the stone travels down the ureter. The pain may move around the side of the trunk to the lower part of the abdomen in the front and even travel down to the groin."

So if your pain sounds anything like the above, you may have something that is continuously or intermittently blocking your ureter and appearing on CAT scan to look like a stone.  This could include a blood clot (although in that case you should see blood in your urine too), a tumor, or a piece of tissue called a 'papilla,' which sloughs off from the inner lining of the kidney and is more likely to be a problem in people with diabetes, kidney infection, or sickle cell disease.     

I would think that you should be able to ask your urologist about this.  They should have at least some idea, considering that they've done two laser surgeries and have presumably actually seen the "foreign object."  

If you would like to write back and give some more details about yourself (age, gender, length of time that you've had the pain, more description of the pain itself, and other diseases that you have - such as diabetes) I may be able to be more helpful.  In any case, if your own docs figure this out, please let us know so that we can learn from your case too!

Related Resources:

Kidney Pain

For more information:

Go to the Kidney Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University