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Kidney stones - lithotripsy - discharge

Alternate Names

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy - discharge; Shock wave lithotripsy - discharge; Laser lithotripsy - discharge; Percutaneous lithotripsy - discharge; Endoscopic lithotripsy - discharge; ESWL - discharge

When You Were in the Hospital

You had lithotripsy, a medical procedure that uses shock waves to break up stones in your kidney, bladder, or ureter (tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder). The waves break the stones into tiny pieces.

What to Expect at Home

It is normal to have a small amount of blood in your urine for a few days to a few weeks after this procedure.

You may have pain and nausea when the stone pieces pass. This can happen soon after treatment and may last for 4 to 8 weeks.

Self-care

Have someone drive you home from the hospital. Rest when you get home. Most people can resume their regular daily activities 1 or 2 days after this procedure.

Drink a lot of water in the weeks after treatment. This helps pass any pieces of stone that still have not passed.

Learn how to prevent your kidney stones from coming back. See also: Kidney stones - self-care

Take the pain medicine your doctor told you to take and drink a lot of water if you have pain. You may need to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines for a few days.

You will probably be asked to strain your urine at home to look for stones. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to do this. Any stones you find can be sent to a medical lab to be examined.

You will be asked to visit your doctor for a follow-up appointment in the weeks after your lithotripsy.

You may have a nephrostomy drainage tube and will need to take care of it. See also: Percutaneous urinary procedures - discharge

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Very bad pain in your back or side that will not go away
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
  • A burning feeling when you urinate

References

Matlaga BR, Lingeman JE. Surgical management of upper urinary tract calculi. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2011:chap 48.

Curhan GC. Nephrolithiasis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 128.   

Updated: 9/24/2012

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.


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