Diagnosis

Diagnosing bladder stones may involve:

  • A physical exam. Your doctor will likely feel your lower abdomen to see if your bladder is enlarged (distended) or may perform a rectal exam to determine whether your prostate is enlarged. You'll also discuss any urinary signs or symptoms that you're having.
  • Analysis of your urine (urinalysis). A sample of your urine may be collected and examined for microscopic amounts of blood, bacteria and crystallized minerals. A urinalysis also helps determine whether you have a urinary tract infection, which can cause or be the result of bladder stones.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). CT uses X-rays and computers to quickly scan and provide clear images of the inside of your body. CT can detect even very small stones and is considered one of the most sensitive tests for identifying all types of bladder stones.
  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound, which bounces sound waves off organs and structures in your body to create pictures, can help your doctor detect bladder stones.
  • X-ray. An X-ray of your kidneys, ureters and bladder helps your doctor determine whether stones are present in your urinary system. But some types of stones aren't visible on conventional X-rays.