Most people who have lithotripsy for kidney stones are free of stones within three months of treatment. Patients with stones in the kidney and upper ureter have the most success with treatment. There may be fragments that are too large to pass after the procedure. They can be treated with lithotripsy again.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have this procedure, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:
Blood in the urine
Bruising in the back or abdomen
Pain as the stone fragments pass
Failure of stone fragments to pass, requiring additional surgery
Need for additional treatments
Reaction to anesthesia
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Bleeding disorders or taking medicines that reduce blood clotting
Heavy sedation or
general anesthesia is usually used. Heavy sedation will keep you calm. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep. It will help you remain still and avoid discomfort.
Description of the Procedure
You will be placed on a table attached to the lithotripsy equipment. You will lie on top of a soft cushion or membrane through which the waves pass. Your doctor will use
to locate the stone. Your body will be positioned to target the stone. One to three thousand shock waves will be passed through the stones until they are crushed. They will be crushed into pieces as small as grains of sand.
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. There may be some pain and discomfort afterward from the passage of broken stones. There may also be some bruising on the area treated. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medicine.
You will be able to move almost immediately after the procedure. Be sure to follow your doctor's
instructions, which may include:
Drink plenty of water in the weeks after the procedure to help the stone pieces pass.
You will likely be able to resume daily activities within 1-2 days.
Take oral pain medicine as directed to help manage pain and discomfort.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Extreme urge or inability to urinate
Excessive blood in your urine
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after the procedure
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Pain between your ribs and back as the stones pass
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a