SEP 08, 2017 5:49 AM PDT

Man's Bladder Stone was Nearly the Size of an Ostrich Egg

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

A 64-year-old man recently went to the doctor for painful urination for three days. His CT scan shocked doctors, as it showed a massive, ostrich egg-sized stone in his bladder.

The man was quickly whisked to surgery, where surgeons came face-to-face with the monster stone. Once removed, the stone weighed in at 1.7 pounds (770 grams). In a post-op photo, the surgeon could be mistaken for holding up a small ostrich egg. (For reference, an average ostrich egg usually clocks in at around 3 pounds.)

Stones in the urinary tract are caused by buildup of minerals that crystallize into solid masses. The stones are mostly made up of calcium (85 percent), followed by a variety of other minerals. Bladder stones differ from kidney stones in the location of the affected organ. In the case of bladder stones, not completely emptying the bladder can often lead to stone formation.

Some stones can go unnoticed, especially if they’re small. But people start to experience pain and other symptoms as the stones grow in size. So how did this stone get so big?

As it turns out, 10 years ago, the patient had aggressive bladder surgery to remove cancer from the organ. Surgeons removed his biological bladder and reconstructed one out of his intestines. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of having a new bladder, aptly called a “neobladder,” is bladder stone. Moreover, because stones in the neobladder can form without signs or symptoms, they have the opportunity to grow to very large sizes.

But as large as the ostrich egg-size stone appears, it’s not the largest bladder stone ever removed. According to the Guinness World Records, that honor belongs to a patient in Brazil whose stone weighed in at over 4 pounds (4.3 pounds, 1.9 kilograms, to be exact).

As for the 64-year-old man, his CT scans also revealed a second stone located in his ureter. This stone was successfully treated with lasers.

The patient is reportedly recovering well from his ordeal and is under surveillance for additional stones.

Of note, some people may be more prone to getting kidney stones. Risk factors include obesity, consuming foods or supplements high in calcium, gout, hyperparathyroidism, and not drinking enough water. As such, one easy way doctors recommend to prevent kidney stones is to drink enough water so that more than 2 liters of urine is produced per day.

Additional sources: Live Science

About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 26, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Routine Diagnostic Tests Linked to a 59 Percent Increase in Testicular Cancer Risk
NOV 26, 2020
Routine Diagnostic Tests Linked to a 59 Percent Increase in Testicular Cancer Risk
New research has revealed that exposure to radiation from diagnostic procedures such as X-rays could contribute to an el ...
JAN 07, 2021
Cardiology
Climbing Some Stairs is a Good Way to Check Heart Health
JAN 07, 2021
Climbing Some Stairs is a Good Way to Check Heart Health
If you can climb four flights in under a minute, your heart is probably in good shape, according to new work presented a ...
JAN 26, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Why Only Some People With a Rare Mutation Get a Heart Condition
JAN 26, 2021
Why Only Some People With a Rare Mutation Get a Heart Condition
Scientists have found a way to explain why a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) can be so differen ...
FEB 09, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Make Tissues Transparent to Spot Hidden Tumors, Let Machines Do the Rest
FEB 09, 2021
Make Tissues Transparent to Spot Hidden Tumors, Let Machines Do the Rest
A clearly defined border differentiates benign tumors from malignant ones. Malignant tumors start to get fuzzy around th ...
FEB 25, 2021
Coronavirus
COVID Long-Haulers Get Official Recognition
FEB 25, 2021
COVID Long-Haulers Get Official Recognition
For months, many people that have recovered from cases of COVID-19 have reported experiencing a range of lingering healt ...
MAR 02, 2021
Cardiology
Creating a Light Switch in the Heart to Regulate Heart Rate
MAR 02, 2021
Creating a Light Switch in the Heart to Regulate Heart Rate
Often when it is dark, we go for a flashlight or our phone to see where we are going. What if I told you that is much th ...
Loading Comments...