Bladder Stones : 2002

Photograph by

Amanda Rebbechi

About this image

A clinician holding some bladder stones, also known as vesical calculi or cystoliths. Normally these are small particles that form when the patient is dehydrated and thus has concentrated urine, or if urine is allowed to become stagnant in the bladder due to infections. This allows various minerals to crystallise – most often these are calcium oxalates and phosphates of calcium, magnesium and ammonia. Treatment in the early stages is by breaking the stones using ultrasound or a laser and allowing the fragments to pass. In extreme cases, as seen here, surgical removal is required. This image was captured using a Nikon FM-2 camera with 55mm macro lens and studio lighting. Medical Illustration Unit, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia