Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy for Kidney Stones
(Lithotripsy for Kidney Stones)
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Reasons for Procedure
- Are too large to pass
- Cause constant pain
- Block the flow of urine
- Cause an ongoing infection
- Damage kidney tissue
- Cause bleeding
- 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
- Bleeding disorders or taking medications that reduce blood clotting
- Skeletal deformities
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood and urine tests
- Imaging studies to help locate the stones
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Blood thinners, such as warfarin
- Anti-platelets, such as clopidogrel
Description of the Procedure
- Water bath immersion—You will be placed in a tub of lukewarm water
- Soft cushion—You will be placed on soft cushions on top of a table
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- 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 medication as directed to help manage pain and discomfort.
Call Your Doctor
- 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 medications you were given after the procedure
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org
The Kidney Foundation of Canada: Northern Alberta and the Territories Branch http://www.kidney.ab.ca
Kidney stones in adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/stonesadults/index.aspx . Updated January 28, 2013. Accessed May 21, 2013.
Lithotripsy. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/lithotripsy.cfm . Accessed May 21, 2013.
Kidney and ureteral stones: Surgical management . American Urological Association website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=32 . Updated January 2011. Accessed May 21, 2013.
Nephrolithiasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 17, 2013. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -