Huge Stone Bigger Than a Grapefruit Removed from California Man's Bladder

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Bladder stone NEJM

Doctors in California have removed a stone the size of a grapefruit from a man's bladder after he turned up in the emergency room complaining of pain in his left side.

The 64-year-old arrived at St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach, complaining of pain and difficulty urinating. A scan of his abdomen and pelvis showed the huge stone lodged in his bladder.

The man had suffered from cancer a decade earlier and had his bladder was removed and a new one built from segments of his intestine, creating what is known as a neobladder.

It is common for bladder stones to develop during this procedure due to the fact that urine sits in the bladder for a long time, causing crystals to form that develop into hard lumps.

But while they vary in size and shape, bladder stones do not normally grow more than a few centimetres. Doctors recorded the size as being 12cm (4.7 inches) by 9.5cm (3.7 inches) and the weight as 770 grams. They also found a smaller stone.

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CT scans showing the stone, and a photograph of it following the operation. New England Journal of Medicine

Reporting the case in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team said the man had no complications following the surgery and is now being monitored for future stones.

While his bladder stone was large, it is by no means the biggest ever recorded. In 2003, Brazilian man Pedro Assaf Jr had a bladder stone weighing 1.9kg (4.1lbs) removed. According to Guinness World Records, this stone measured 17.9cm (seven inches) by 12.7cm ( five inches ) by 9.55cm (3.7 in).

Earlier this year another huge bladder stone was removed from a man's body. The stone, which weighed 1.4kg (three pounds) and was the shape of a coconut, was discovered by doctors in India. Surgeon Dhirubhai Patel told the Times of India: "We have checked different records and we can say with confidence that this is the single largest recorded bladder stone in India, and second largest in the world."