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When a kidney stone becomes trapped in the ureter, it may remain there until your doctor removes it. Or, it eventually may move downward and pass on its own. It can take hours, days or weeks for a stone to pass.

As a rule, the smaller the stone, the more likely it is to pass on its own. The larger the stone, the greater the risk that it will remain trapped in the ureter. A trapped stone can significantly obstruct the flow of urine.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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