To Help Pass a Kidney Stone Passing a kidney stone can be very painful. Shock wave lithotripsy is a treatment that helps by breaking the kidney stone into smaller pieces that are easier to pass. This treatment is also called extracorporeal

shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).


How Does Lithotripsy Work?

Shock wave lithotripsy crushes a kidney stone that's still inside your body. It doesn't require any incisions. Instead, sound waves are sent through your body. When these hit the stone, it crumbles into tiny, sand like pieces. The pieces can then pass through the urinary tract more easily.

     Possible Risks and·Complications

       • Infection

       • Bleeding in the kidney

       • Bruising ofthe kidney or skin

       • Obstruction of the ureter

       • Failure to break up the stone (other procedures may be



When Kidney Stones Form

The urinary tract helps your body get rid of liquid waste (urine). The two kidneys collect unneeded chemicals and water, making urine.

The urine then travels through long tubes

called ureters to the bladder.

The bladder stores urine until you're ready to release it.

The urethra is the canal

that carries urine from the

bladder out of the body.

 Chemicals in the urine can sometimes form crystals. These are like little bits of sand. If the crystals stick together, they become a hard mass called a stone. The stone can get stuck in a kidney or ureter. This blocks urine from getting to the bladder, causing severe pain.

Sound waves are sent through your body. When these hit the stone, it crumbles into tiny, sand like pieces. The pieces can then pass through the urinary tract more easily.

Your Experience

Lithotripsy takes about an hour. It's done in a hospital, lithotripsy center,or mobile lithotripsy van.You will likely go home the same day.

During the Procedure

After the Procedure

• You receive medication to prevent pain and help you relax or sleep during lithotripsy. Once this takes effect, the procedure will start.

• First, a stent (flexible tube with holes on each end) may be placed into your ureter. This

helps keep urine flowing from the kidney.

• Your healthcare provider then uses x-ray

or ultrasound to find the exact location of

the kidney stone.

• Sound waves are aimed at the stone and sent at high speed. If you're awake, you may feel a tapping as they pass through your body.

• You'll be monitored in a recovery room for about 1 to 3 hours. Antibiotics and pain medication may be prescribed before you leave.

• You'll have a follow-up visit in a few weeks. If you received a stent, it will be removed. Your doctor will also check for pieces of stone.

• If large pieces remain, you may need a second lithotripsy or another procedure.

Passing the Stone

It can take a day to several weeks for the pieces of stone to leave your body. Drink plenty of liquids to help flush your system.

During this time:

• Your urine may be cloudy or slightly bloody. You may even see small pieces of stone.

• You may have a slight fever and some pain. Take prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication as instructed by your healthcare provider.

• You may be asked to strain your urine to collect some stone particles. These will be studied in the lab.

Contact your doctor right

If you have the following:

  • Fever over 101° F (383°C)
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pain that doesn't go away with medication
  • Upset stomach and vomiting
  • Problems urinating

After your lithotripsy, take these steps to prevent future stones:


  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Make any diet changes your healthcare
  • provider recommends.
  • Take any prescribed medications.
  • See your healthcare provider for checkups.


Associates in Urology of Central Florida

a division of Orlando Physician Specialists, LLC