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03-26-2017, 06:04 PM
I tried searching for the subject, but the last thread I could find was made in 2008 so hoping to get some more current info.

I had excruciating pain the other night and after 4 hours I couldn't take it anymore so I went to the emergency room. I suspected it was a Kidney Stone and I was right. After a CT, they found a 3mm stone that was causing the pain and said there were two smaller ones in there but they were in no danger at the moment. After 3 or so hours I was released.

I believe the 3mm one has passed but can't be sure because I have not caught anything in the strainer as of yet. But I am no longer in pain, and haven't been since I left the ER. Going to call my regular doctor tomorrow to see her and then a Urologist.

My question is do I need to immediately report this to my AME? Also, what effect will this have on my first class medical. I am currently a CFI, but was looking to apply to the Regionals in a few weeks. How will this impact that?

Unfortunately, what took me so long to go to the Emergency Room and put up with the worst 4 hours of pain in my life was the fact on what this could do to my flying career.

03-26-2017, 07:56 PM
For any new medical condition you are not required to report it until your next medical. However, having said that, you may not exercise the privileges of your airman certificate with a known medical deficiency.

Here is some information on the subject.

Best wishes with your recovery. The key item to remember is follow the FAA protocol for reports and tests exactly even if it does not make sense to you or your urologist. Take these with you to your next medical to speed things up. If you feel you need more help in getting your medical (case a bit complicated) organizations like AOPA, AMAS,, Dr. Bruce Chien can help. Generally single stones are not the issue but having a bunch of them will require some attention.

03-26-2017, 08:26 PM
After I had a kidney stone, I reported it on my next medical (around 2004 or so) and never heard anything about it. Listed it as a one time event.

11-27-2017, 05:53 PM
I wanted to give an update on this in case people were looking for information on this type of problem. I ended up having two surgeries to get the stones removed. The first surgery they couldn't get up there so they had to put a stint in place, waited two weeks, then tried again. It sucked really bad, the recovery from both surgeries and having the stint inside me. You do not want to know the details.

Any way long story short they were able to remove two of the three stones. The third one was 3mm but retained and not in danger of movement.

I made damn sure that I was going to go to an AME who had experience in this and not my usual one as I was about to apply to the Regionals and needed my First Class renewed before I did so. I ended up finding an AME about 2 hours away with experience in this and who made sure everything was in order before I started my medical. CACI worksheets were done, I had the correct documentation from my primary care physician, and the AME made sure that I filled out the questionnaire correctly to not trigger the FAA. Everything worked out great, got my First Class renewed, and am now working for a Regional!

11-27-2017, 06:03 PM
Glad everything turned out ok.

11-28-2017, 07:58 AM
For anyone else, kidney stones will ground you until resolved (by passing, surgery, or possibly other treatments such as ultrasound?).

Due to the high level of pain they cause when they pass, the FAA is concerned about sudden incapacitation. I know several folks who've had them (all military, all recent desert rotations.. hmmm), and were able to get it fully resolved once there are no stones at risk of passing.

11-29-2017, 06:36 AM
Is drinking water still the best way to prevent them?

11-29-2017, 07:51 AM
Is drinking water still the best way to prevent them?

From talking to my buddies, dehydration is a big factor. Some pilots will skimp on the water to avoid the fire drill to use the lav. I personally go back at least once, often twice on transcons.

11-29-2017, 07:01 PM
From talking to my buddies, dehydration is a big factor. Some pilots will skimp on the water to avoid the fire drill to use the lav. I personally go back at least once, often twice on transcons.

What RJ flies a transcon??? My ass hurts just thinking about that!

11-29-2017, 11:28 PM
Once you have the kidney stones, you're medically grounded until a series of tests and observations are performed.

I went through the same thing. Severe pain the night, couldn't remember my own name. I went to the ER, then to surgery. After working with both my own AME and a union physician, the end result was that both the FAA and and the company weren't going to let me fly until certain conditions were met.

I ended up needing a series of tests and exams to verify that I had no more stones and could be expected to remain stone free. It had to be a first occurrence (repeat occurrences trigger bigger issues).

When you have a known deficiency, you're disqualified from flying until the condition is alleviated. The FAA determines what is necessary to show that the condition is alleviated (which in this case is additional documentation beyond simply having passed the stone). Failure to not only report the matter but also to address it to the satisfaction of the FAA before returning to service puts you in jeopardy of operating without a valid medical.

11-30-2017, 06:10 PM
Herb Pharm Stone Breaker and a high quality Chelated magnesium pill baby.... all gone...