Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Small kidney stones that don't block your kidney or cause other problems can be treated by your family doctor. But if you have a large kidney stone and experience severe pain or kidney problems, your doctor may refer you to a doctor who treats problems in the urinary tract (urologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and there's often a lot to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared.

What you can do

  • Ask if there's anything you need to do before your appointment, such as limit your diet.
  • Write down your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to kidney stones.
  • Make a list of all your medications, as well as any vitamins or other supplements that you take.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be hard to remember all the information, and a relative or friend may hear something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

For kidney stones, some basic questions include:

  • Do I have a kidney stone?
  • What size is my kidney stone?
  • Where is my kidney stone located?
  • What type of kidney stone do I have?
  • Will I need medication to treat my kidney stone?
  • Will I need surgery or another procedure to treat my kidney stone?
  • What's the chance that I'll develop another kidney stone?
  • How can I prevent kidney stones in the future?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do I need to follow any restrictions?
  • Should I see a specialist? If so, does insurance typically cover the services of a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Do you have any educational material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
  • Do I need a follow-up visit?

Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment when you don't understand something.

Mar. 17, 2012

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