Lithotripsy Can be Kidney Stones Worst Friend!

By Dr. Pawan Kesarwani in Urology

Jul 24 , 2017 | 1 min read

Are you suffering from severe abdominal pain? Is there blood while passing out the urine? Though the duration of blood may be intermittent it surely seeks medical intervention.

Have you heard of Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL)? It is one of the enemies of kidney stone as it destroys the stones or breaks them into smaller pieces so that they are easy to pass in the urine.

This procedure is suitable for:

  • Having stone size less than 2.0 cm
  • Morbidly obese patients (though success rate is less)
  • Candidates whose kidneys are abnormally structured but no obstruction

What happens during the procedure?

X-ray or ultrasound is done to know the exact location of the stone. A flexible tube (stent) is placed in your ureter to keep the urine flowing through the kidney if required. The shock waves are then given at a high speed to break the stone into smaller pieces. It is a short procedure and you can most-likely get discharged on the same day.

Do I have to stay in the hospital after treatment?

It is possible that your progress will be monitored about few hours. You may be prescribed antibiotics or medicines based on your recovery. Follow ups will be suggested by your clinician. If large stone fragments exist you may be asked for second lithotripsy or another treatment. 

It is true that passing a kidney stone can be extremely excruciating. Though it is day care procedure, the possible risks can be:

  • Bleeding in the kidney
  • Blockage of ureter
  • Infections
  • Stone fragments that cannot be broken
  • Bruises in the kidney

What can I expect after the treatment?

You should not panic as it may few weeks for the stone to completely pass out from your body. You need to drink sufficient quantity of water to clean your system. However, you can experience:

  • Cloudy or Blood in the urine
  • Fever or pain

When to call the doctor?

  • Severe pain while urinating
  • Fever more than 101°F
  • Vomiting or upset stomach
  • Persistent pain that doesn’t subside with medications