Bladder stones are somewhat uncommon and are usually seen in men with bladder emptying problems due to a large, obstructive prostate gland. The stones are usually made of uric acid and do not show up on plain X-rays but are seen on CT scanning or with ultrasound. There can be one or two large stones present, several, or very many small and medium sized stones. The exact reason some men form bladder stones and others do not is unclear, but high urinary uric acid concentration and urine stasis is clearly an issue. Bladder stones can lead to recurrent infections, pain, bleeding and discomfort when emptying the bladder.
The treatment involves removing the bladder stones using an endoscopic stone crushing device, or a medical laser, both performed via the urethra. This is usually combined with or followed by treatment of the enlarged prostate gland. Once the prostate gland blockage has been treated the bladder stones are unlikely to recur.