Diagnosing a Kidney Stone

Urology Austin physicians use your medical history and a variety of tests when diagnosing a kidney stone

When you come to our Austin urology office exhibiting pain and other symptoms that could indicate a possible kidney stone, we start the diagnostic process by taking a thorough medical history. We will ask you about your family and personal history with kidney stones, as well as questions about existing or past conditions or diseases, gastrointestinal problems and dietary habits. All of your answers will help us when diagnosing a kidney stone.

Your Urology Austin physician will also perform a physical exam and will usually conduct a urinalysis. We analyze the results to determine if you have an infection or if there are substances in your urine (such as oxalate, cysteine or uric acid or calcium) causing kidney stones to form.

We may also order blood work that will give us clues as to how healthy your kidneys are and if you have too much uric acid or calcium present in your blood.

Imaging tests to diagnose kidney stones

If your Urology Austin physician suspects that you have a kidney stone, he or she may order one or more imaging tests.

Abdominal x-ray

This simple, non-invasive test can help the urologists see the size and location of the kidney stone, the kidneys, bladder and the ureters.


This non-invasive test provides an accurate picture of the kidney stone, while exposing the patient to less radiation than a CT scan.

CT scan

There is a special type of CT scan that is recommended for the detection of a kidney stone called non-contrast spiral computed tomography. This CT scan moves in a circle.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI’s are another good way for physicians to detect the location and size of a kidney stone, as well as the condition of the kidneys, bladder and ureters.

Your Urology Austin physician may decide that it’s beneficial to analyze your kidney stone after you have passed it. The kidney stone is collected by having you urinate into a strainer that will catch the stone so it can be sent to a lab for analysis. Once the urologist receives the analysis, he can use this information to help develop a plan that will help prevent future kidney stones.

If you suspect you have kidney stones, contact us to make an appointment. Our urologists will use their expertise and training to diagnose and treat your problem.


Treatment for Small Kidney Stones>>

Treatment for Large Kidney Stones>>