Bladder stones are also called uroliths. These uroliths are stones, which vary in size, texture, and composition. Some patients with bladder stones may not show any symptoms and the stones are discovered incidentally; but there are some distinct symptoms that might promote a search for stones. Bloody urine, recurrent bladder infection (especially by the same organism), or straining to urinate all would raise suspicion.
Occasionally stones are simply passed. If this occurs, it is important to have radiographs taken to check to see if there are more stones. If possible, a stone should be sent in for analysis to determine for certain the stone type.
Bladder stones come in several mineral compositions. The most common stone types are oxalate and struvite. Since the treatment approach is different for each type, it is crucial to determine the stone type. Fortunately, struvite stones are radio-opaque, which means they show up readily on radiographs (x-rays).The stone type can be confirmed if a sample stone is available (either passed naturally or obtained via surgery). A laboratory analysis can easily determine the mineral content of the stone and even determine if the stone consists of layers of different mineral types. Without a sample stone, there are still some hints that can be obtained through other tests. Bladder stones should be removed and an analysis done to have the quickest and most successful outcome.