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Complications of kidney stones

Apart from causing symptoms such as pain, vomiting and blood in the urine, kidney stones can cause serious medical complications. These include:

  • Severe infections including septicaemia (blood poisoning) which can be life-threatening.
  • Renal scarring and damage to the kidneys, resulting in permanent renal failure.
  • Loss of function of a kidney resulting in the need for removal of the kidney (nephrectomy).
  • Bladder blockage can result when a large kidney stone has managed to pass into the bladder but gets stuck in the urethra resulting in painful urinary retention.