It may be helpful to begin a discussion of urinary stone disease with an overview of the anatomy of the urinary tract. The urinary system consists of two bean-shaped organs kidneys, a pear shaped, balloon - like organ in the lower abdomen called the bladder, two tubes called ureters which connect each kidney to the bladder, the upper half of ureter is located in the abdomen and lower half is located in the pelvic area. The ureter is about 3 to 4 mm diameter and usually 25 to 30 cm long and the urethra, a channel which allows urine to flow from the bladder to the outside of the body. In female the urethra is about 5cm long and 6mm diameter and male is about 20cm long and around 8mm diameter.
Each kidney is located toward the back on either side of the spine. The lowest rib signals the mid portion of the kidney.